Thick and creamy, this celery and leek soup is a perfect comfort food for chilly days.
The addition of potatoes and rice thicken the soup and keep it naturally gluten free.
This soup is really easy to make too. Just chop the vegetables and get cooking.
And the best bit? The soup will be ready in 30 minutes.
Leek and potato soup or vichyssoise, is probably the most famous French soup but there are so many other variations and they are all easy to make.
This leek and celery soup is also known as potage Celestine. It's thickened with rice and potato, which release their starches into the soup as it cooks.
The delicate flavour of the leeks go so well with the celery too. The flavour is milder when the celery is cooked. This also means that you can use old celery, that may be stringy, as the soup will be pureed smooth.
Like vichyssoise, this soup can be eaten hot or cold, which makes it perfect for making in advance for entertaining.
- Oil - vegetable oil, sunflower oil or olive oil.
- Leeks - fresh leeks
- Potatoes - floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or Russet will give the best result.
- Salt - flaked sea salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Stock - vegetable or chicken stock.
- Milk - full fat or semi skimmed milk.
- Rice - white long grain rice with a quick cooking time, such as Basmati rice.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Blender or immersion blender
- 4 litre pan with lid
- Wooden spoon
Wash the leeks and trim the ends. Cut in half lengthways then slice into 1 cm chunks.
Trim the celery and cut into 1 cm slices.
💭 Top tip
Keep the celery leaves for garnish.
Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 cm pieces.
Heat the butter and oil over a medium heat and add the leeks and celery.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Add the potatoes, rice, stock and seasoning.
Bring the mixture to a boil and put the lid on the pot.
⏲️ Cooking time
Simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and the potatoes are tender.
Use a stick or immersion blender to blend the soup until it is smooth and creamy.
Stir in the milk and reheat if serving immediately or leave to cool and reheat when you are ready.
💭 Top Tip
- If you choose to use a full size blender, only fill it two thirds full as hot liquid expands in volume and can spill over.
Garnish the soup with a drizzle of cream, the chopped celery fronds, a grind of black pepper and some croutons.
- Leeks - replace the leeks with the same weight of mild onions if you prefer.
- Rice - switch brown rice for white rice to add more fibre to the soup and increase the cooking time accordingly.
- Leek and potato soup - leave out the celery and rice and use an extra leek. Add 140 ml or a quarter of a pint of single cream before serving cold to make vichyssoise soup.
- Celery - omit the rice and replace with 110 g, (4 oz), of watercress and add to the soup 15 minutes after the potatoes have been added.
Let the soup cool to room temperature then cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze the soup in containers for up to 3 months.
Defrost then reheat gently in a saucepan.
The whiter and light green parts of the leek are best for eating. The dark green parts tend to be tougher. Give them a good wash and use them to make stock instead.
Celestine is a first name meaning heavenly in English.
The name appears regularly in French recipes such as Consommé Celestine, which has a Celestine garnish of finely shredded pancakes and Poulet Celestine, which was created in honour of a lady of the same name.
If you know the origins of this term please let me know!
More soup recipes
Starters and soups
Celery and Leek Soup
- wooden spoon
- 4 litre pot with lid
- Blender or immersion blender
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 500 g leeks about 2 large leeks
- 600 g celery about 6 large sticks
- 500 g potatoes 3 medium potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt flaked sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 litre vegetable stock gluten free if required
- 300 ml semi skimmed milk
- 75 g basmati rice
- Cut the leeks in half lengthways and slice the leeks and celery in 1 cm chunks. Set aside the celery fronds for garnish.
- Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 cm pieces.
- Heat the butter and oil over a medium heat and add the leeks and celery.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the potatoes, rice, stock and seasoning.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and put the lid on the pot.
- Simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and the potatoes are tender.
- Use a stick or immersion blender to blend the soup until it is smooth.
- Stir in the milk and reheat the soup.
- Garnish the soup with a drizzle of cream, the chopped celery fronds, a grind of black pepper and some croutons.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.