We are having an unusually cold summer. I always buy more celery than I can use — or maybe they sell celery in clumps that are too large. The older (feline) cooking assistant started stabbing me in the leg for being too slow on the draw with his treats so I took him to the vet to discover he was dehydrated. All of these things can only mean one thing — I must make soup. Not for the cat, alas, although I did purchase him a filtering, continuous fountain, which the dog refuses to use because it’s apparently scary. In the meantime, the dog will get his water next to the scary fountain – as shown below. I tried to get the dog used to the fountain by feeding him chicken next to it, which fell in and caused an interspecies fracas — the opposite of what I was trying to achieve with “Operation Happy Fountain.”
But back to the soup. Use whatever you have lying around, add lactose-free or safe milk (or cream if you can take it!), a bit of sherry, a bit of flour, and presto — cream of deliciousness. It couldn’t be easier.
Cream of Anything Soup (Lactose-Free)
2 cups of celery (chopped, include leaves but wash carefully first)
1 large chopped onion (any color)
1 cup of chopped green onions
Several chopped cloves of garlic to taste
One small chopped potato (for body if you can’t use cream!)
2 cups of “safe” or lactose-free milk (coconut milk is also delicious and not too sweet, oddly, once the onion overpowers it)
At least 1/8 cup of dry, cheap sherry
2 tablespoons flour
Tarragon, sea salt, and white pepper to taste
Olive oil and Earth Balance (or just whichever one you have)
I heat my oil and saute the onion and celery until they are starting to be limp. At that point, I deglaze with sherry and add a couple tablespoons of Earth Balance and the rest of the vegetables and garlic, sauteing till everything seems soft. I add spices and flour and mix well before pouring in lactose-free milk (the fattiest kind I have in the house, which sadly at the moment is just 1%).
I cook this for about 25 minutes to soften and then put half the soup in the blender. I pulse the mixture smooth and add back into the soup, cooking on a low heat for one more hour, if desired, or you can eat on the spot. It will be even better the next day. You can also puree the whole thing if you want a more “restaurant-y” soup but I like having some of the vegetables left to crunch on.
Serve with a good, crusty bread!