Celery and Blue Cheese Soup

Because, there is always celery that needs using up.

How often do you buy a bunch of celery, use a stick or two for a recipe, and then leave the rest lingering in the fridge until it’s as bendy as I wish my legs were for yoga? Even when I’m cooking for a two night retreat for 16 people there is still always celery leftover, as recipes rarely call for more than one to two sticks in one go. Well, this celery and blue cheese soup uses five sticks, job done.

This is one of the recipes that didn’t make it into my forthcoming cookbook It Starts with Veg : 100 Seasonal Suppers and Sides. When I first tested the soup, I felt it a little confused (I added celeriac, fennel and peas in too), and I was at the hyper critical point in developing 100 recipes (in the seven month period I had to do it) when it was easier to rip up the recipe and start again with something different rather than work on the original idea. OK, now you’ve had an insight into how my brain works. Over a year has now passed since then, and I was able to look at the recipe this past week with new eyes. I’ve paired the base ingredients of the soup right back, and created a dazzling soup topper. This was so scrumptious, it left me gutted I didn’t include it in the book after all.

The idea for this celery soup, is very much on theme with what’s in the rest of the cookbook, in that the vegetable is the starting point for the recipe (the cookbook features 40 vegetables and 100 recipes). If I had a lot of celery that needing up in the fridge, this would certainly be (one of) the easiest ways to use it up in one go. It’s a recipe that transforms celery from a crunchy, stringy health food stick to glorious silky spoonfuls. You’ll have to wait and see what the two winning celery recipes are that made it into the book – neither of them are soup (or salad).

I know it’s now officially spring but I’m sat here on a rainy Thursday before Easter writing this under a blanket, and I’m still craving soup.

It Starts with Veg is out on 6th June and you can pre-order it now!


Celery and Blue Cheese Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to start with celery and end with soup
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 750mls
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 250g celery, approximately 5 sticks, finely diced
  • 250g potato, peeled and diced
  • 4-500mls vegetable or chicken stock
  • 50g blue cheese - I nearly always have Stilton in my fridge, but any blue cheese will be fine.
  • Vinegar or lemon juice to balance flavours
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Toasted Walnut topper
  • 25g walnuts
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • handful celery leaves, or parsley (or a combination), finely chopped
  • 25g blue cheese, crumbled
  • + red grapes, sliced in half to serve (optional)
  1. Heat the butter and 1 tsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, sautė the chopped onions and celery, with a pinch of salt for around 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the potato, stock and bring to boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through.
  2. Turn off the heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes (for safety) then blend in a high speed blender until silky smooth. Add 50g of the blue cheese and blend again. Add water if the soup is too thick and then season to taste. For a brighter flavour add vinegar or lemon juice. I like a tsp or so of sherry vinegar.
  3. To make the topping, toast the walnuts in a small frying pan, until lightly browned, add the maple syrup and toss together, till sticky. Turn out onto a board to cool, and then roughly chop. Pop into a small bowl along with the finely chopped celery/parsley leaves and 25g crumbled blue cheese. Add a drizzle of oil, and stir together.
  4. Plate up the soup and scatter over walnut topper, serve with a few red grapes and another drizzle of olive oil, if you like.
This soup serves 2