Celery Soup Velouté with Ouzo and Greek Yogurt


This easy soup calls for traditional Greek dark, thin-stalked celery, which is very much like Chinese celery. You can use regular American celery, too.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 4 bunches Chinese celery trimmed and chopped (about 8 cups
  • 1 large leek trimmed, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
  • 1 golden delicious or Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 scant teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup ouzo
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock and more as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Seeds from half a pomegranate
  • 1/2 bunch of dill trimmed and snipped

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add all the vegetables, garlic clove and chopped apple. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and sweat everything together until wilted and softened, about 6-8 minutes. Check occasionally and stir to keep the contents from burning.
  2. Sprinkle in the curry powder and stir. Pour in the ouzo. As soon as the alcohol steams off, add the orange juice. Cover again and sweat for a minute. Pour in the 6 cups of water or stock and add the star anise. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the soup for about one hour, until all the vegetables are very soft.
  3. Remove pot from heat. Remove and discard the star anise. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree the soup until it is completely smooth. Place back on the stove over low heat.
  4. Place the yogurt in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Take a ladleful of the hot puree and whisk it into the yogurt. Add this to the soup and stir. Thin out the soup as desired by adding more water or stock. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, curry and more orange juice.
  5. To serve, place in individual bowls and sprinkle with chopped dill or wild fennel and pomegranate seeds and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

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