"Creamy" Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

Creamy Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

You know those recipes that require you buy an entire bunch, can, jar or bag of something, and then you only need a tiny amount of that particular ingredient? That drives me crazy. Take tomato paste, for example. Almost every recipe I use with tomato paste calls for just a tablespoon or two, but then I’m left with almost a whole can. Fortunately, a lot of canned leftovers can be frozen so I don’t end up wasting it…but fresh ingredients pose more of a challenge.

Like celery. I always seem to be scrambling to figure out ways to use leftover celery. It’s not like you can freeze it (or can you? I’ve never tried, but that sounds weird to me), and there are only so many celery sticks I can stand to eat at a time. After making a batch of chicken salad a few weeks ago that required a few stalks of celery, I was determined to find a way to save the rest of bunch before it met its moldy demise. 

Creamy Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
Creamy Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

Enter Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto. Ironically, I think I’ll be buying celery from now on for this recipe, and then using leftovers for all the other salads and such. This soup is even husband-approved. He’s not always the biggest fan of blended soups, especially when they’re comprised primarily of vegetables, but this one is creamy (without containing cream!), savory and incredibly flavorful. 

Creamy Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

Of course, even after the hubs and I taste-tested and approved, we decided we couldn’t resist adding a little pork to the mix. A crispy prosciutto topping gives the perfect salty crunch to complement the smooth blended soup. Add a drizzle of olive oil and you’ve got yourself a healthy, comforting (and Whole30 compliant!) dish.

What ingredients do you find yourself scrambling to use up? Have any tips for storing or using those lingering leftovers?

Creamy Celery + Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Yields 10-12 cups

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
5 cups diced celery (about 10 stalks)
1½ pounds red potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
¼ cup coconut milk

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and cook about 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. 

Add the chicken stock and the bay leaves. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. 

Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender.) 

Return the soup to the pot. Stir in the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Top with crispy prosciutto and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Crispy Prosciutto

Prosciutto slices (1-2 slices per serving)
Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the prosciutto slices out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the color is slightly darkened.

Transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel lined plate to cool (it will get more crisp as it cools). Once cool, crumble it into small pieces. Serve on top of Creamy Celery + Potato Soup.