It's Saturday, so of course I went to the Farmer's market. I saw the work of a wonderful crafter who makes mobiles out of felt birds and twigs. The one with a cardinal flying around a beautiful handmade nest stole my heart. Just the sweetest thing ever! I got a basket of honeycrisps, 'cause I'm crushing on them right now. And I bought a bunch of organic celery replete with a plume of luscious celery leaves. The celery leaves became the reason d'etre for my rich and flavorful, not to mention, kick ass nutritious, autumn vegetable soup.
Celery is one of those things I love but usually never buy. It's best to purchase only organic celery, which I find too expensive, since most of the time I buy organic celery I use two stalks and the rest goes to waste. I was able to buy a small bunch of celery today, organic and as I said, with those showy leaves still attached.
Most people don't know it but celery leaves are totally edible, delicious and full of nutrients. You can treat them as you would any other leafy green and add them to smoothies, saute them or toss them in salads. Or just make this soup.
autumn vegetable soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup butternut squash (I roasted mine first and added it in at the very end)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dired)
2 bay leaves
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 to 1 cup water
1 can great northern beans, drained and rainsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot add olive oil and butter. Add onions, carrots, celery, squash (unless roasted before hand), oregano and thyme. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, beans and water.
Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste, adjust the seasoning and add more water, if necessary. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with a chiffonade of celery leaves. Make 4 servings.