Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Creamy Creme de Celery Soup

photo via
by Francine

Bet you don't know how healthy celery is. Well, maybe you do. . .Recently I happened to see it on a list of foods that support healthy blood pressure. That got me curious and I started doing a little digging about what other hidden health benefits celery offers. My mom used to say celery is "nature's tooth brush." I figuredTarzan and Jane ate it for just that reason. When my daughter was little, I used to prepare healthy (and yummy, of course) after school snacks for her --including celery sticks filled with a bit of low-fat cream cheese (Neuchatel) and alfalfa sprouts on top, or just plain alongside carrot sticks, cucumber, whatever other crunchy veggie on hand. . .

Delicious just plain 'naked', in salads, soups, or a variety of other dishes that involve veggies, celery offers us a variety of reasons to eat them (and did I mention the crunchy factor is fun?). Check out some of the many health benefits of this chlorophyll-filled wonder (adapted from an article posted 10/10/12 by Diana Herrington on the care2 site)

* Celery has blood pressure reducing properties. It contains active phthalides, which relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure so the vessels dilate. Phthalides also reduce stress hormones, which can cause blood vessels to constrict.
*Celery is purported to be a negative calorie food, which means it takes the body more calories to digest it than the food itself contains. While this is not strictly accurate, a single stalk of celery still has only a few calories due to being full of cellulose. The addition of celery to your diet will help your weight loss efforts.  
*Celery contains plant hormones that calm and soothe the central nervous system, which will make losing weight an easier thing to do. (Plus, it just feels better to be calm. . . )
*Celery leaves are a source of flavonoid antioxidants zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene, which have antioxidant, cancer-protective, and immune-boosting functions
So while you're crunching away on a stalk of celery, how about making some soup for a chilly day? Come on. Let's go.
Here's what you need to have ready:
2 lbs. celery, coarsely chopped
1 lb. green onions or leeks, coarsely chopped (or a combo)
2 carrots, diced in 1/2" squares
Set aside:
1/4 cup oil (olive) and 3 TB unbleached flour that have been combined in a 4-quart saucepan. Let these bubble together over low heat for about 2 minutes.
Whisk in:
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (try to use organic, low-sodium)
Reserve 1 cup each of celery and carrots, then add the rest of the chopped vegetables to the thickened broth. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat and put it all through a food mill, or let it cool and blend in a blender until smooth.
While the vegetables are simmering in the thickened broth, saute until tender:
2 TB oil
the reserved celery and carrot pieces
Add the sauteed veggies to the blended broth mixture along with:
1 1/2 cups soft tofu, blended smooth and creamy
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
NOTE: When reheating the soup, try not to let it boil.

Enjoy! And btw--my dog loves bite-size pieces as a snack. In fact, she can't get enough of them. :)

Tofu Cookery, by Louise Hagler

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