I was uninspired. "What do you want for dinner tonight?" I asked my eight-year-old, who always has an opinion. He thought for 30 seconds. "Celery and bacon soup, " he said. Though I had never made it before, and I'm pretty sure he thought he invented it, it sounded like a fine idea. I even had everything but the bacon already in the fridge. I threw everything in the slow cooker — a perfect tool for inventing a soup — and hoped for the best.
This might be the easiest soup I've ever made. It took about 10 minutes to assemble. Because I love everything about bacon — the taste, texture, and smell — I decided to use it as a crunchy garnish instead of incorporating it into the soup. This soup is what I serve when I don't have time to cook, but I want something warm and delicious for supper.
And my son? He liked it just fine, particularly the bacon garnish and olive oil toast we served on the side. It was so easy, I even had time to make popcorn and play a few rounds of Rummikub with him, which makes this meal a hit.
This soup reminded me of a traditional potato-leek soup but with celery standing in for the leeks. It was easy to make — I didn't even peel the potatoes but ended up with a nice, creamy soup.
- Christine, April 2015
Slow-Cooker Celery Soup with Bacon
1 bunch celery (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 large yellow onion
1 pound small white potatoes
3 garlic cloves
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream, milk, water, or additional stock
4 to 6 slices thick-cut bacon
Chop the celery, onion, and potatoes into small, equally sized pieces (about 1/2 inch), and mince garlic. Combine the chopped vegetables, stock, salt, and pepper in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours.
Purée in batches in a blender or use a stick blender directly in the slow cooker.
Before serving, stir in cream, water, or stock to thin the soup. Fry the bacon on the stovetop until crispy. Serve bowls of soup with bacon crumbled over top.
- Vegetarian or Vegan Versions: Top with croutons instead of bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make this soup vegetarian; leave out the cream to make it vegan.