Out here in the great American Southwest we love the summer season. It is not only a chance to spend some quality time enjoying the joys Mother Nature has blessed us with but it is also a time to behold the natural bounty of tastes and textures which make Southwest cuisine one of the most popular and healthy diets. A perfect example of this is a classic soup from Casa de Cuisine, the simple, yet elegant, Cream of Celery and Pear Soup.
When picking out your celery for this soup, you do want to be careful. The usual celery you see in the produce section of supermarkets is known as a "dirty food." This doesn't mean it has dirt on it, it means it is one of the top food items to contain pesticides. For your health and natural flavor, only buy organic celery.
At Casa de Cuisine, cream is used in the soup to give it a rich flavor and a silky texture. If you are watching your fat intake, you can substitute the cream with half-and-half or even whole milk.
Ingredients needed to make Cream of Pear and Celery Soup (serves 4):
- ½ cup butter
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 8 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 6 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
- ½ cup whipping cream
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté 10 minutes. Add the celery, cover and cook 10 minutes.
- Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
- Add the pears and simmer 35 minutes.
- Stir in the whipping cream, cook 4 minutes and serve.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."