Sunday, February 16, 2014

Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder

Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder in bowl, with spoon and napkin in background

Celery takes the lead role in this hearty dish

We all have celery in the fridge, right? Usually a wilted, half-used head buried deep in the vegetable bin. 

Most of us wouldn’t even think of using celery as a main ingredient. But I say it’s about time this shy veggie got some love.

Our Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder highlights the flavor of celery—in a warming comfort food. And with the cold, snowy weather we’ve been having in most of the US lately, I need all the warming comfort I can get.


Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder in bowl, with spoon and napkin in background

Recipe: Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder

Chowders are cream- or milk-based stews, usually thickened with potatoes or crackers. Although we often think of seafood (particularly clams) when someone mentions chowder, there’s no reason veggies can’t play the main role—as noted when we posted about our Winter Squash, Corn, and Bacon Chowder.

Each year, we like to showcase an underused vegetable on our blog—and spend some time getting to know it better. In the past we’ve explored sweet potatoes, Belgian endive, and fennel. This year our focus will be on celery. We’ll also highlight celeriac (a/k/a celery root—a variety of celery grown especially for its root, not its leafy ribs). But be aware that some people are allergic to celery; more on that in the Notes.

Exact quantities aren’t critical in this recipe (the same is true with most chowders). Feel free to use a bit more or less than we recommend when it comes to celery, potatoes, corn, bacon—basically anything.

Prep time for this recipe is about 15 minutes, with cooking time of half an hour or so. So you can have this chowder on the table in about 45 minutes.

This recipe yields 4 main-course servings, or 8 first-course servings. Leftovers keep for a couple of days if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 strips of bacon (about ¼ pound; if you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, see the Notes)
  • 1 pound celery (6 or 7 trimmed ribs; about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium-large onion (about 1 cup when diced; yellow, white, or red onions all work well)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste, and optional; I like the red—fully ripe—ones in this dish)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; if using regular table salt, use about half that amount)
  • ~12 ounces potatoes (2 cups or so, although exact quantity is not critical; I use a waxy type, like Yukon Golds, but a russet potato will work too)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 cups chicken stock (may substitute vegetable stock or water)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 - 2 cups milk or cream (more if you want a thicker chowder, less if you want a thinner one)
  • additional salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • chopped or whole parsley leaves, reserved bacon bits, jalapeño pepper, and/or diced onion for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Cut the bacon into ½-inch pieces. Place the bacon bits in a 4-quart cooking pot or Dutch oven, and turn the stovetop heat to medium. Sauté the bacon bits until they’re crisp and brown. When done, remove the bacon bits and set them aside (I drain them on paper towels). But leave the fat in the pot.
  2. While the bacon is sautéing, wash and trim the celery. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the fibrous strings off the outer part of the celery (the convex surface). Then cut the celery crosswise into pieces of about ½ inch.
  3. Peel the onion and cut it into ½-inch dice.
  4. Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers into very small dice (or use a mini food processor). Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
  5. Add the chopped celery, onion, and jalapeño peppers to the pot/Dutch oven in which you cooked the bacon bits, then add salt to taste. Sauté the celery mixture in the hot bacon drippings over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies begin to soften (but keep the heat low enough that they don’t change color).
  6. While the celery is cooking, wash the potatoes. Peel them if you choose (it’s optional, but I usually do) and cut them into dice of ½ inch or less.
  7. After the celery mixture has been sautéing for 10 minutes, add the potatoes, thyme, celery seed, and chicken stock to the cooking pot. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the celery and potatoes are tender—when you insert the tip of a paring knife into a potato piece, you should meet no resistance (this usually takes 10 minutes, although it may take as much as 15).
  8. Zap the mixture briefly with an immersion blender to help thicken it (breaking up the potatoes helps thicken the chowder; see Notes for why you want to use an immersion blender with a steel shaft). After blending, add the corn, bring the mixture back to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. The chowder will be very thick.
  9. Add milk or cream to thin the chowder (and provide more flavor), and simmer for a minute or two. (Add more milk or cream if you want a thinner chowder, less if you want a thicker one; I usually add about a cup.) Taste and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper (I often let people do this at table).
  10. Garnish (if you wish) with parsley leaves, bacon bits, diced or sliced jalapeño pepper, or diced onions. Serve.
Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder in bowl, overhead view on black

Notes
  • For a vegetarian version of this dish, leave out the bacon and skip Step 1. In Step 5, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking pot/Dutch oven and use it for sautéing the celery (since you won’t have residual bacon grease). In Step 7, substitute water or vegetable stock for chicken stock. (The veggie version of this chowder is quite good—though of course you’ll lose the savory bacon flavor.)
  • I like to use thick-sliced bacon in this dish, though you can substitute salt pork if you’d like. Salt pork is actually traditional in chowders, but I prefer the flavor of bacon.
  • I like to use the outer ribs of celery for this dish, saving the inner heart for another use. Celery leaves are more strongly flavored than the ribs, so use them or not as you wish (I usually do).
  • When you boil celery (as you do in this dish), you can probably get away without removing the fibrous strings on the outer part of the celery (as Step 2 directs). But I always do it anyway.
  • Traditionally, the best celery always became available after the weather turned chilly—November and December in the Northern Hemisphere. Nowadays, good-quality celery is available year round.
  • There are two main types of celery that are grown for their leafy heads: self-blanching (yellow) and Pascal (green). We usually see green celery in the US; in other parts of the world, yellow is more common. But even in the US, good produce departments sometimes stock the self-blanching kind, too.
  • Celeriac is grown for its bulb. Although you sometimes see it with its leaves and ribs attached, they aren’t widely used (at least not in the US).
  • A note about nomenclature: I often see recipes in which the word “stalk” is used to mean both the whole head (i.e., bunch) of celery, as well as the individual ribs. Technically, however, the head is the “stalk,” while each rib is, well, a rib. To be clear, I try to avoid the word “stalk” altogether in recipes when talking about celery.
  • Celery stays crunchy for a few days in the fridge when stored in a plastic bag. If you need to store it longer, place it upright in water (the same way you store asparagus). In a chowder like this one, wilted celery works OK (it turns soft as it cooks anyway). But don’t use celery that’s too old—its flavor diminishes.
  • Unfortunately, celery can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. It’s similar to peanuts in this regard—and for those who are highly allergic, exposure can be deadly. Celeriac (celery root) contains even more allergens than do heads of celery. Cooking does not kill these allergens. So remember that celery can be a problem food for some individuals. 
  • Interestingly, allergic reactions to celery appear to be more common in continental Europe than in the United Kingdom and the US
  • For more fun facts about celery, check out this post by Louise on Months of Edible Celebrations.
  • Jalapeño pepper isn’t traditional in chowder, but it adds a bit of zip, which I like. Green jalapeños work OK, but the red (fully ripened) ones add wonderful color—and better flavor for chowder, IMO. 
  • Frozen corn generally is high quality, and I never hesitate to use it in a dish like this. But of course fresh corn makes a dandy substitute (if it happens to be available). 
  • I prefer milk to cream in this dish. Cream makes the chowder a bit too rich, IMO. I use whole milk, but skim certainly works if that’s your preference. 
  • When using an immersion blender in hot liquid, make sure you use one with a metal shaft. A plastic shaft can crack from the heat. Ask me how I know.

Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder in bowl, with spoon and napkin in background

Celebrate

“So we have a blog called Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things to thank for our vegetable of the year?” asked Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.

“Yes, well, the ‘good things’ in the blog’s title comes from Jane Grigson’s cookbook—also called Good Things. I hadn’t looked through that cookbook in years. The book is wonderful, so I read it again.”

“And saw some recipes for celery?” asked Mrs K R.

“A whole bunch of recipes,” I replied. “Or should I say a whole stalk of them? Heh, heh.”

Mrs K R rolled her eyes.

“Anyway, it got me thinking about how celery is an underrated ingredient,” I said.

“With puns like that, it’s no wonder,” she replied.

“Then a few months ago, I saw a recipe for Lamb with Celery and Cumin on Blue Kitchen. The recipe looked terrific. And although celery wasn’t the dominant flavor, it played a leading role.”

“And that inspired you?”

“Well, that’s when I decided to work on some more celery dishes,” I said. “You might say I was stalking celery. Heh, heh, heh.”

Mrs K R looked heavenward, and sighed.

“So we’ll be featuring lots of celery in our next few posts,” I said. “And for good measure, we’ll throw in some recipes for celeriac.”

Mrs K R fixed me with her gaze. “So I guess we’ll be having a real celerybration,” she said.

Touché.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Winter Squash, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Chunky Pork and Sweet Potato Chili
Sweet Potato Soup with Chilies and Corn
Kale, Quinoa, and White Bean Soup
Or check out the index for more recipes

112 comments:

  1. I love how this chowder is bursting with colors and flavors. Delicious post indeed :)

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    1. Hi easyfoodsmith, the flavor is wonderful! Who knew celery could taste so good? Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I would love a big ol' cup of this for lunch today. Is there anyone that doesn't have some lorn and forgotten celery in the fridge? You are correct; this is the perfect use for it!

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    1. Hi Debra, alas, I always have forgotten celery in the fridge! It deserves better than that. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Please set a place for me at your table. I love these flavors and especially the addition of the red jalapeno. I think there is nothing better in soups and chowders than celery. One of my favorite quick, simple soups is cream of celery.

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    1. Hi Karen, cream of celery soup is one of my faves too! Which I may or may not be doing in this series -- haven't decided yet. If I do, will probably be in fall. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Hi John! Chowders are wonderful soups, creamy and hearty, I think I like almost all chowders. This looks wonderful, as usual! We're having a warm spell in Denver so soups been out on the back burner, but not for long I'm sure! I love the bit of trivia on celery allergies. I did not know that, good to learn something new. Fortunately, we have no celery allergies at home and everyone likes it so I actually use it quite often. Hope you and Mrs KR are well. I'm being lazy as you can see, I haven't been visiting :) Take care!!

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    1. Hi Nazneen, the info on celery allergies was news to me, too. Glad you're having some warm weather -- we'll be getting some soon. Can't wait! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. John this soup looks so hearty and delicious. Perfect for a day like today and this evening with the freezing rain coming. I could live on soup especially when they are packed with flavor and luscious ingredients like this. Yummy recipe!

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    1. Hi VIcki, I could live on soup too. And often do! Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I usually don't buy a lot of celery because I just can't come up with enough ways to use it. I did have 2 lonely stalks in the fridge that I just put then in some chicken stock I'm making today. :) What a great idea to make it one of the main ingredient in a chowder. Between this chowder and some of Sissi's recipes (withaglass) I think I could probably use up a batch of celery pretty fast now. Thanks John! Great looking chowder!

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    1. Hi MJ, always happy to help with ideas for using celery! Or anything else for that matter. ;-) This really is a nice chowder -- I love its flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Lovely photos! I love a good chowder, especially when bacon is involved. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Lydia, bacon makes almost anything better, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I love celery and sadly it is such a neglected vegetable. This is a great way to feature it.

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    1. Hi Dahn, isn't this nice? And it's too bad that celery is so often overlooked. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love that you've picked neglected celery to star and shine in your colorful and delicious looking chowder!

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    1. Hi Chris, celery really has an interesting, although subtle, flavor that's fun to play with. Perfect in this chowder! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. A Celerybration! Very nice, John. You are right in that celery is so under rated. I love it and I especially love celeriac. Always use it in my chicken soup and I've cubed it and use it for roasting in root veggies. Plus it makes a great slaw. Can't wait to see what you do with it! I'm celerybrating already!

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    1. Hi Abbe, the next two week will be all celery (and a bit of celeriac). Then throughout the year we'll be seeing other goodies. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. This is a great idea for a series of recipes. I often have a few wilted pieces of celery and would love some recipes to not only use them up, but to having them be the "starring" role! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Barbara, it's going to be fun featuring celery and celeriac throughout the year! I have a few interesting recipes coming up. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Poor celery; so often neglected but I can remember that even as a kid I loved Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup and Mirepoix without it is just sauteed onions and carrots. :)

    Sounds so good; if that little groundhog was right we'll have plenty of time for a lot more soups and this one sounds totally delish!

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    1. Hi Barb, I hope that little groundhog was wrong, but it's looking like he was right. Alas. Anyway, when I was a kid I liked Cambell's Cream of Celery soup too! Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Love the recipe. I've been making so much soup this year. It's always great to have a recipe to help use up the end of the celery in the fridge. Time to "stalk" up my vegetable keeper again. Heh, heh.

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    1. Hi Beth, ;-) Always important to have a well-stalked veggie keeper! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. LOL yes we all have wilting celery in the fridge!
    I swear we all buy celery with the very best intentions at the market, then we get home and it begins its wilting course.

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    1. Hi Dawn, I don't know what it is about celery and how we buy it, then proceed to ignore it! But we all do it. Thanks for the comment.

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  15. People think of celery as so ho-hum. But it really does add such a nice crunch, freshness and salinity to dishes. So many things just wouldn't be the same without it.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, I agree it's a really important secondary ingredient -- without it, there's a dimension missing. But it's nice for it to star occasionally, too! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Hi John , love chowders and this one is a winner , I learn not to use plastic shaft when sing hot liquids ;-D love all the ingredients and it easy . I try to eat a cookie before coming to your house to visit , I always leave going to the kitchen , but that's a good thing . Thanks so much for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Nee, that is a good thing! You'll love this chowder -- tons of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  17. We always seem to have that half dead head of celery in our fridge too. Apart from the onion, I could eat everything in this soup and enjoy it thoroughly. We have been watching the terrible weather you all are having in the US and the UK. It is in such stark contrast to the sunshine we are having down here. It will be your turn soon.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, you could pretty easily skip the onion in this, I think. You'd miss a bit of flavor, but nothing drastic. We've been having an unusually cold winter; and you've been having an unusually warm summer. But you're right, it'll be our turn soon! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. That chowder looks very bright like full of sunshine. Very colorful and flavorful. Thank you John and have a good week ahead. :)

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    1. Hi Ray, it really is a great chowder -- totally delish! Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Hi John!
    I'm cracking up over that Celerybration expression from Mrs. K.R. I wish I had thought of it myself when I celebrated National Celery Month a while back. Yes, indeed, there really is one! It's in March! Celery has a lot of good things going for it. I'm going on a blog break for a couple of weeks, (I just posted about it this evening:) but if you want to check out the post, I crunched some facts about celery which you might like. However, I don't think I mentioned the allergy factor. Very interesting to know...Here's the link when/if you get a chance.

    As for that Chowder of yours, yummy! I made potato chowder the other night using the same method of sautéing for the celery and the carrots. I cooked them ever so slowly and lowly that I didn't need to boil the celery. I didn't see where you boiled your celery but the sautéing worked quite nicely. It just so happens that I don't have any celery in the fridge right now because the rest of those wilted ribs were left for the rabbit before the last snow storm. (ie, they are buried right now:) Love this recipe John. I may just need to give it a try. One can't get enough chowders these days, lol...thank you so much for sharing, John...I do believe you may have inspired me to start a celery Pinterest board. Celery deserves its own board:) If I do, I will be sure to make your chowder my first pin:) Off to check out that link, thanks John...

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    1. Hi Louise, the celery boiling comes when you add the stock and simmer (technically boiling, although maybe boiling is too strong of a word). Anyway, I'll check out the celery post right away! Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Louise, that's a great post! I just added a link to it in the Notes! Thanks.

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    3. OK, now I understand. That's what I did too. I'm so glad you liked that post John. Thank you so much for linking:)

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  20. Lovely looking chowder, the colours are so bright and beckoning :D
    Delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, I have to admit I love colorful food! In this case it tastes better than it looks. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. This chowder looks scrumptious and I look forward to more celery posts. I like celery but my husband really loves it. It is in fact one of his favorite vegetables. (Weirdo). I once worked with a woman who was appalled by celery, couldn't stand to even look at it. I was always asking her why but never got an answer. I also like your punny celery conversation.
    --Rocquie

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    1. Hi Sage Trifle, I hope the future recipes appeal to your husband! And you, of course, but it is a bit unusual to find such a celery lover! Glad you enjoyed the puns, and thanks for the comment.

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  22. I love corn chowder...especially ones with bacon :) I love that this is heavy on the celery! That sounds fantastic! I'm afraid it will still be soup weather around here for a while...plenty of time to work in some great chowders.

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    1. Hi Liz, soup weather for sure here tomorrow. But we're expecting 50s later this week! I'll believe it when I see it! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I haven't been eating much dairy but I can never resist a good bowl of chowder and this one looks sooooo good!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, isn't a chowder such a nice dish? This one is wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Colorful, comforting and scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, we're having freezing rain today, so we need loads of comfort! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. LOVE this recipe! I love celery - but there is so much I didn't know about it - I had no clue there was a yellow and green variety and I had no clue people could be allergic to it. I use it often - but mostly as an ingredient in a dish where something else is the star - this chowder i awesome - thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Shashi, celery is really rather interesting, and it has such a nice flavor. And great crunch! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I really like celery but it rarely takes center stage, does it. I think I'd love this chowder!

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    1. Hi Maureen, I almost never think to make celery center stage! Hence, this post (and a few more). ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I love any form of Chrowder because they are the ultimate comfort food for me... specially one with bacon like this!

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    1. Hi Peachy, bacon adds oomph to almost any dish, doesn't it? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. a good one recipe for dinner and not only for that, delicious, healthy and fresh, just enough to warm you up ;)

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    1. Hi Aurica, it's really a nice recipe. And so warming, as you say! Thanks for the comment.

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  29. this sounds so heartwarming for winter! As we sit here under a sheet of ice...again. :) and you're right: how did you know i always have extra celery in my fridge? And i can't stand just eating raw celery, so most of the time, it just goes to waste b/c i can't think of anything to do with it. You've totally helped me out with that.

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    1. Hi Shannon, this weather is getting old, isn't it? I like cooler weather, but I won't be sorry to see this winter go! I've got some more celery recipes coming up later this week and next, and then throughout the year I'll be adding a few more. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I have always "liked" celery but have grown to love it since I have been buying from the Farmers Market. It just tastes so much more intense. Plus I buy it untrimmed. Celery leaves are great in all sorts of uses. Salads, salsa verdes, pestos and stocks to name a few. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, you're so right that the leaves have wonderful flavor! And you're also right that you usually get the leaves when you buy at Farmer's Markets. At the supermarket? Phooey! Usually just a few. Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I am one of those who has the "wilted" celery in the fridge .. Always! Sometimes the husband asks me why I bother buying it since I almost let it wilt away. Thanks for this wonderful idea! We will love this chowder.

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    1. Hi Ansh, I've thrown out more celery than I care to admit! Really want to stop doing that. I'm hoping make celery my veggie of the year will help! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Some people are allergic to celery? Didn't know that. I was just looking a photo of corn chowder from summer and wishing I had some fresh corn right about, frozen would do the trick though. It's not that cold here, but I'm still craving soup. Hope you and this Misses are enjoying Monday.
    -Gina-

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    1. Hi Gina, frozen corn works really well in chowder and soups. Its flavor isn't as good as fresh corn, but it's really quite decent IMO. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I've never been a huge fan of celery, but I would love to give this a try. I have found I love many different vegetables when they are in soup.

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    1. Hi Laura, I'll bet you'd like this soup -- you'll definitely notice the celery flavor, but the corn and bacon really balance it nicely. Thanks for the comment.

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  34. How do you know me so well?! I always have celery buried in my fridge, and cannot think of enough uses for it...this is a GREAT one! :)

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    1. Hi Kristi, isn't it funny that almost all of us have celery buried in our refrigerators? This really is a great way to use it! Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Did you by any chance came into my kitchen and peered into my fridge? I swear I have celery from my grocery visit two weeks ago, along with the one that I bought last week. This is just PER_FECT! Especially when it is freezing cold with non stop snow fall, depressing, and two kids home on vacation doing practically nothing because the weather is awful. And I can tick every item in the recipe so I think I am ready to make it tomorrow. Thanks so much for the idea!

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    1. Hi Minnie, we all have the same celery buying habits! And this chowder is a great use for all the celery that we're accumulating. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. John...this is brilliant. You are right....I'm the one with the bunch of wilted celery (minus 2 stalks because that's all I needed for the recipe I bought the celery for) in the back of my vegetable bin. It never occurred to me to try and find recipes that would actually FEATURE the celery! And I love chowder....this looks so warm, comforting and inviting. Looking forward to 'celerybrating' with more of your recipes this year! : )

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    1. Hi Anne, we all do the same thing! We use a bit of celery for a dish, then forget it's in our refrigerator. It's going to be a fun celerybration. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Bizzy Lizzy has a great blog - she's such a talent. I really am trying to fall in love with celery, it's just my mother fed me celery all through my childhood - it was in my lunch box and at every meal and I just grew to hate it. It was celery overload. I think though that I could manage it in this chowder - it's almost disguised! xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, Liz really does do a nice blog. I've had a lot of raw celery sticks in my time, and they are no favorite of mine. But celery actually does have an interesting flavor, and it's fun figuring out how to feature it in recipes. Thanks for the comment.

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  38. This looks delicious! I never use celery except for tuna sandwiches and homemade stock! Ill have to try this! Im new to your site but like what I see!

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    1. Hi Heather, welcome! Celery is excellent in tuna salad, but even nicer in this! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. This is such a fun post!
    Love the part about the shy veggie deserving some love. LOL.
    Looks like a heart warming, amazing dish.
    The dried thyme adds the perfect finishing touch. Great recipe, John!

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    1. Hi Daniela, this was definitely a fun post to write! And this was a great recipe to devise -- it's really good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. John, you sure described very well the celery that I have in my fridge...
    I like the idea of using celery as a main veggie...the chowder sounds and looks delicious.
    Have a great week :D

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    1. Hi Juliana, when it comes to celery, it sounds like we're all using it -- or not! -- in more or less the same way. ;-) Thanks for the comment, and I hope you have a great week, too.

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  41. Hi John,

    You are making me feeling guilty for buying celery as regularly as I should... Guilt guilt guilt!!! I can hear the celery screaming at the supermarket shelves after seeing your delicious and comforting chowder.

    Cheers!

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, sorry about that guilt thing. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. I used to cook the wilted celery after leaving it in the fridge until I started to wrap them in aluminum foil and refrigerate it, its stays crispy for weeks. The chowder looks creamy and delicious. I loved the bowl from the first picture!!!

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    1. Hi Shibi, that aluminum foil idea is terrific! I'll definitely have to try that. Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Hi John, such a delicious and simple recipe... I love celery, we have been growing it for a couple of years now! Successfully, I might add. It's so much better than store bought. I love the sound of the bacon with the chowder. And thank you to Charlie for her kind words too xo

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    1. Hi Liz, we should try growing celery sometime -- the celery we buy from farmer's markets is always so much better than store bought. Thanks for the comment.

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  44. I agree. I buy celery thinking it'll get used as snacks and in soups etc. But most often it's left to wilt. I love how you've used it in a soup. Add bacon and I'm sure the men in my family would happily slurp up every drop.

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    1. Hi Kristi, bacon gets the attention of most people, doesn't it? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. I love celery in soup too, but never use it as the featured vegetable. I love this chowder it sounds yummy.

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    1. Hi Dawn, it's unusual to feature celery, isn't it? But it really works in some recipes! Thanks for the comment.

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  46. This sounds like such a wonderful bowl of comfort, John. You're right about celery lying half-wilted in my vegetable crisper. (Now there's an oxymoron.) Using it to make chowder is a great idea, especially when it's as tasty as yours here. i need to make this while the celery I bought last Saturday is still up for the task. Thanks for sharing another of your great recipes, John.

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    1. Hi John, it's weird: we can't get along without celery, but we all neglect it so! It's not my New Year's resolution or anything, but I do want to change that in me. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  47. "A stalk of them"....I'm cracking up right now.

    This is fabulous. I love the flavour combo. And the spice. Pass me a bowl.

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    1. Hi Kim, just one bowl? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Damn comforting food!!!
    lovin it with celeriac too.....

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    1. Hi Dedy, I haven't tried this recipe with celeriac, but I'll bet it'd be really good. Thanks for the comment.

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  49. I was just saying to my husband the other day how I feel like celery is such an underutilized vegetable and here is a great soup showcasing it! I think your soup looks really delicious and hearty!

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    1. Hi Amy, great minds and all of that! ;-) This really is a lovely soup -- loads of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  50. I love the sound of this, just what I need right now.

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    1. Hi Caroline, isn't this nice? A lot of comfort, and so good! Thanks for the comment.

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  51. I need something to warm me up as well. It's wet and cold in Berlin. Thank you for sharing :) And addition of bacon - great.

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    1. Hi Marta, this is quite a warming (and comforting!) recipe. Perfect for the cold and wet. And bacon makes everything better! Thanks for the comment.

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  52. Corn chowder has always been one of my favorite soups. I never added potatoes or bacon but I'm sure yours is all the better tasting for it.

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    1. Hi Mireya, a lot of chowders use corn instead of potatoes as the starch. I like both, so I add both! Thanks for the comment.

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  53. Oh so comforting!! I love that celery is a highlight here :)

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    1. Hi Kiran, the flavor of the celery really shines in this dish! Thanks for the comment.

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  54. This is the dish for me... I am just not there with the salads at the moment.... which is why my backside wants to increase in dimensions. This looks so creamy and delicious, and totally justifiable with all the colouful veges!

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    1. Hi Julie, this is a totally wonderful dish! Have a salad first, then this as a main course. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  55. Oh I think so I need to recreate your chowder before the monsoon because celery is just common in the market now until may. I like your recipe too because you fry the bacon first until crispy while in Europe they would just throw it into the pot and the bacon fats would be wobbly which I don't like. So you see your soup is perfect for me. =)

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    1. Hi Helene, I usually (not always) convert European recipes that have bacon to my method here -- that way the bacon has some flavor. Plus its texture is much better. Anyway, this is a great dish, and I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

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