Slow Cooker Cream of Celery Soup

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I was just thinking about celery the other day (random, I know).  It hit me suddenly: celery doesn’t get the same recognition as most other vegetables.  Unlike kale, spinach, and beets, there’s really not many recipes where celery takes the lead role. Like a nerd in high school PE class, celery would almost never be the first, second or third option when vying for “main vegetable” role in a dish.  Instead, celery usually plays the extra — an ingredient in a recipe that you won’t feel too badly about omitting if you forget to pick it up from the store i.e tuna salad anyone?  With this recipe, celery finally gets the accolade it deserves.

Celery is fairly bland compared to most other pungent vegetables but it packs a powerful punch in terms of health benefits.  Celery supports the immune system, lowers blood pressure, regulates cholesterol, increases cancer prevention, vital detoxifier, anti-inflammatory, and perfect addition to any weight loss plan due to its low calories and high fiber content.  

I had the ingenious idea to incorporate celery as a main ingredient in a recipe because I went out and bought a large head of it.  Oddly, I only wanted to use it in a fruit/vegetable portrait to include in my food photo inventory — I had no intention of cooking it.  But as it sat in my refrigerator day after day patiently waiting for my nourishment, it gave me the clever idea of concocting a recipe for cream of celery soup. Afterall, any food with the word cream in it is worth trying.

Before today, I have never eaten cream of celery soup for similar macho reasons mentioned in the intro above.  After today, cream of celery soup will be included in the rotation of soups I love to eat.  Light, yet filling, with a slight touch of sweetness, the creamy delicate flavors come together perfectly for a comforting winter soup.  Celery has stolen the spotlight!

Slow Cooker Cream of Celery Soup

Serves 3-4.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups bone broth or store-bought stock
  • 1 tablespoon ghee  (butter or coconut oil works too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)

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Instructions

1.  Put all ingredients expect coconut milk in slow cooker.

2.  Cover and let cook on high for 3 hours (or on low for 5 hours).

3.  Let cool then add milk.

4.  Blend until smooth with hand blender, or in batches in a regular blender.

slow cooker cream of celery soup

P.S.  This was the first time I used the hand blender I got for Christmas.  If you don’t have a hand blender but love preparing pureed soups, you must get one asap.  It.will.change.your.life.  Nothing fancy — a simple, reasonably priced hand blender will do the trick.

If you are like me,  you may be prone to drool over food pics. No shame tho right? K cool, follow me on Instagram

Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Want to learn my weight lifting secret?  It’s bone broth.  Yep you heard me right.  I drink a cup of bone broth an hour or so before a heavy lifting session.  Bone broth has allowed me to increase my max lifting beyond belief.  I’ve been heavy lifting 1-2x per week consistently for the past two months or so and have made huge gains.  For example, before that, I rarely dead-lifted anything greater than 50 lbs.  Today, I am able to dead-lift 2 sets of 5 at 185 lbs, without struggle.  I generally lift weights alone and therefore lift as modestly as I can for safety’s sake.  If I had a lifting partner, I can only imagine how much heavier I’d be maxing out on.  All in due time.

But onto the good stuff:  if you have never made bone broth and settle instead for the grocery-store boxed and canned broth, no sweat — your meals will taste incredibly better once you make the switch.  You’ll have people asking “mmmm, what’d you put in this?” Soups and vegetables will taste richer and offer a more savory flavor.

Bone broth is made by heating bones in water for long periods of time.  You can add vegetables and spices if desired, but that is strictly optional.  Along with bones and water, you must add an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice to maximize the minerals and collagen extracted from the bones.  I use coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar because I tend to have those items around my kitchen.  Once prepared, you can drink the broth straight with sea salt, or use in recipes for soups, stews, gravy, vegetables, grain and beans.

Bone broth is fairly cheap to make: just save your bones!  I keep mine in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer.  I keep beef, chicken, lamb, and pork bones all in the same bag — mix it up.  When I have a half bag’s worth, then it’s broth making time.  I’ve been known to request bones from friends at house gatherings (warning:  be prepared for weird looks).  You can also buy bones at the grocery store.  Just ask your local butcher or one of the workers behind the meat counter.  They are usually cool with giving you bones — sometimes for free, or just $2 – $5 per pound.  1-2 lbs of bones is enough for a 4 quart slow cooker — makes 1 batch of bone broth (about 2 quarts broth).

So what makes bone broth superior to grocery store boxed broth?

Multiple reasons!  Bone broth contains vital minerals necessary for cell metabolism, healing and growth. Store broth lacks flavor and minerals and bones may not even be used which explains why mineral content is nil. Bone broth contains the same ingredients found in the bones:  calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, flouride, hyaluronic acid, keratin, elastin, and chondroitin sulfate.  Bone broth soothes the immune system and enhances digestion.  Bone broth nourishes all body parts related to collagen i.e. joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membrane, and bone.  Check out this (in-complete) list of conditions that improves with consumption of bone broth:

  • Heartburn or GERD
  • Eczema-like skin issues
  • Pregnancy: helps fetus grow
  • Asthma
  • Wound healing
  • Liver support
  • Detoxification process
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Muscle Wasting
  • Infant & Child growth
  • Jaundice
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Heart health
  • Nail & hair growth
  • Inflammation & pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Autoimmune
  • Constipation
  • Aging
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • ADD

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With all of the benefits listed above, it makes you wonder: is bone broth a food or medicine?  Deep!

Using a slow cooker for broth makes it super easy to prepare.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Ingredients

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Bone Broth Ingredients

Bone Broth Ingredients

Instructions

1.  Gather your bones, about 1/2 gallon-sized ziploc bag.  They can be frozen or room temperature.

2.  Place bones in slow cooker.  The bones took up about 1/2 to 2/3 the space of my 4 quart slow cooker.

3.  Add vinegar.

4.  Fill crock pot with water leaving about 1.5-2 inches unfilled (allow space to prevent overflow when cooking).

Bones w/ Water - top view

Bones w/ Water – top view

5.  Cover with lid.  Set slow cooker on low for 20-22 hours if using mostly beef bones or 14 -16 hours if using mostly chicken, pork or lamb bones.

Slow Cooker on Low

Slow Cooker on Low

6.  Turn off and allow a few hours to cool down before straining into bowl.

7.  Once cooled, strain broth into glass bowl.  Discard bones.

Bone Broth - Strained

Bone Broth – Strained

8.  Refrigerate broth and allow it to gel overnight.

9.  Broth will be gelatinous which means it is rich in collagen.  Awesome.  If it doesn’t gel, no worries — it still contains the minerals extracted from the bones. There will be a top layer of fat on the broth.  Scrape off fat and discard.

Chilled Broth w/ Fat Layer on Top

Chilled Broth w/ Fat Layer on Top

10.  The gelatinous bone broth is now ready.  Cook with it or drink it warm with added sea salt within 3-5 days or freeze.

Gelantinous Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Makes 2 quarts.

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