This simple celery leek soup is a variation of the classic potato leek soup. Topped with quick homemade Parmesan croutons, it makes a great weeknight meal.
- 2 medium leeks
- 5-6 stalks of celery
- 1 pound potatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- A small bunch of parsley
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 4 slices of bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked or smoked paprika
- 2 cups milk
Trim the ends and tops off of the leeks. That’s the roots and the tough dark green parts. Slice the leeks in half from top to bottom, then slice each half into thin rounds. Rinse in a colander to remove any sand or dirt.
Roughly chop the celery. Peel the potatoes and roughly chop these too. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. These are all going to be pureed into the soup, so when I say roughly, that means don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the size and shape of them. But you should finely chop the parsley because no one wants to eat a bunch of leaves.
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the thyme, salt, and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat it in the butter. Don’t walk away and let it stick to the pan. Pour in the broth, then add the potatoes. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes, partially covered.
While you wait, make the easiest croutons you’ll ever make. They’re what I call lazy croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If inclined, slice off the crusts on the bread. Then slice the bread into cubes. Toss the bread in a bowl with the oil, Parmesan, and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes. They should be crunchy and browned. Try not to eat them all before the soup is ready.
Now puree the soup with a hand blender. Or if you still don’t have one of those, you can ladle the soup, a little at a time, into a blender. Either way, be careful. You don’t want to cover your face in boiling hot soup. Trust me. Add the milk to the pot with the pureed soup and heat on low heat until hot. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Serve the soup in bowls topped with the parsley and croutons.
If you don't have or don't like smoked paprika, use sweet paprika.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Soups and Stews
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: celery, potatoes, leeks, croutons, parmesan, paprika, soup, parsley