Previous month:
February 2006
Next month:
April 2006

Hannah Milman's and Susan Spungen's Blueberry Bannock Scone


Attempting to wean myself off sugar a few months before the dreaded season in which far too many fleshy bits of oneself are exposed for the world to see, I stayed away from my beloved baking (well, sweet baking) for quite some time. I didn't manage to wean myself off sugar entirely, but taking a break from the batter bowl actually felt sort of good. The last sweet thing I baked were those phenomenal pecan cookies - on February 17th! I'm quite impressed with my self-restraint.

It's a good thing I have Ben as an excuse. The poor boy had gone without his freezer scones for so long he was beginning to look quite peaked (piqued? both!). So without further ado, I flung myself upon that stack of photocopies from my cookbook collection and dug out this recipe to try. It sounded so cozy and delicious: with buttermilk for a tender crumb and enough butter for richness, the crunch of wheatgerm and chopped nuts, and best of all, a thick layer of jammy berries in the middle.

I substituted chopped almonds for the pecans (but if you can, avoid doing that - the pecans would have added an extra layer of flavor, while the almonds sort of sank blankly in the background), and used a tablespoon less sugar sprinkled over the berries; they just didn't seem to need it. But like I said, I'm being a little sugar-wary these days. That extra spoonful certainly would not have pushed these into toothache territory - in fact, it might have given a little extra sparkle to the berry layer.

It's particularly easy to assemble because there is no fussing with cutting shapes - you just pat out half the dough into a thin circle (this gets a bit sticky, but use a light touch and some extra flour - you'll be fine), cover it with the berries (I used frozen ones, and they were gorgeous, like dozens of tiny jewels covered with a frosty glint) and then pat out the rest of the dough to be flipped on top of the berries. You score this big pie of sorts with a knife and then break it apart after it's been baked and cooled.

The scones are wholesome and nutty - and that layer of fruit in the middle is great because you really can eat them plain and have that be enough. Who needs clotted cream, fresh butter or good preserves when you've got a built-in layer of jam to savor with your scone? Easy-peasy, as the English say. I've gotten my baking fix to tide me over a few more days, and Ben has his scones. Everybody's happy.

Blueberry Bannock Scone
Serves 8

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
5 1/3 (1/3 cup) tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon water

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lightly sprinkle a 14-x-16-inch baking sheet with flour, or line with a Silpat, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pecans, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

3. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until it has the consistency of small crumbs.

4. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and one egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. The dough will be quite wet and sticky; work it as little as possible.

5. Divide the dough in half and shape one piece into a 9-inch circle on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the blueberries evenly over the circle and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, form a 9-inch circle with the remaining dough and gently slide it on top of the berries. With the backside of a knife, score the top in 8 wedges.

6. Beat the remaining egg with the water and lightly brush the egg wash over the top of the scone. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

7. Bake until the scone is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, cut into wedges and serve.

Nigel Slater's Crumbed Mackerel


I've just finished doing my taxes all by myself for the very first time without the help of tax consultants or my grumpy father or hallucinogenic drugs and I am so (naturally) high from the experience that it's all I can do to keep myself from levitating off my desk chair and into the atmosphere, aglow with glee that at the age of 28 I have finally mastered mathematical problems first introduced to me in the third grade (second? first?). Of course, I still haven't figured out which form gets which attachment and this hiccup is threatening to tear my glorious day of achievement into a shredded pile of misfortune and disgrace, so before I dwell on that too long and tear into Every.Single.Last.Cuticle.I.Own, I'd like to segue into something far more interesting for all of us. Stinky fish!

Last summer, in a time before this blog existed - when it was still just a twinkle in my eye - Ben and I got into a car and drove 850 miles from New York City to Prince Edward Island. Yes, on our very first vacation together, we went on a roadtrip to Canada and rented a house in the most godforsaken part of that island, where there were no people and even fewer animals. Somehow, our relationship survived. On that trip, between the lupines and the lobsters, I learned the fine art of killing helpless creatures: Ben took me fishing.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. But before I embark on any misbegotten attempts to come anywhere close to the glory of this article, I'll just say that at first I wanted to cry each time my hook snagged a little fish's cheek (or eye, but hey, who's counting), but soon, when the other fishers' buckets were half-full and I still had nothing to show for my efforts, I started casting my line out with a vengeance. Who were these damn fish that did not want to die by my hands? I'd get them, and show them. At the end of the trip, Ben and I were given a little plastic sack of cleaned and filleted fish (and told they were mackerel - aha!) and we noodled back to our farmhouse to get cooking.

After all, what better way to bookend a day spent at sea, fishing and carousing with other like-minded folks (the French-Canadians on our boat were madmen: they must have caught close to 200 fish. To put this in perspective, Ben and I took home about 10, though to Ben's credit, he threw most of his haul away before they succumbed on deck, in deference to the look of sheer terror on my face everytime a flopping creature impaled itself on my hook), but by frying up those little suckers in well-seasoned cast-iron pans hanging sweetly on our kitchen wall?

The small problem was that once we were home (in a house that smelled of four centuries of cat urine - too bad doesn't come with a scratch'n'sniff feature), Ben's killer instinct went flying out the window and out of pity he couldn't bring himself to eat the floured and fried mackerel. Of course, it might have also had something to do with the intensely fishy aroma floating about the house and mingling with the afore-mentioned feline stench. Who knows, the point is, we barely made a dent in the pile of fish and couldn't banish the memory of eating mackerel from our minds soon enough.

Unfortunately, we did such a good job with that self-imposed amnesia that 8 months later, when presented with a recipe for mackerel, I didn't remember how much I disliked it. I prepared Nigel Slater's recipe for mackerel (an under-eaten fish, according to him - chockful of important oils, according to Science) that Julie Powell wrote about in the New York Times Magazine a few weekends ago. It certainly sounded up my alley, and it was, to a certain degree. But for that stinky, godforsaken fish.

Make the breadcrumb topping, by all means. It's smoky and crumbly and savory with softened onions and raw garlic. But use a different fish. Because the topping is so plentiful (in that picture up there, can you even see the fish? Exactly. It's all topping, all the time) and so flavorful that you can easily substitute any kind of fish (like cod! It'd be perfection with cod) and have a great time eating it. I used a little less olive oil than called for, and my Spanish paprika was smoked, but not hot: the topping still tasted delicious.

And now I'm taking myself, my out-of-control parentheses and punctuation, and my tax-addled brain for a long walk in which I think about nothing but how much the IRS can suck it.

Spiced Crumbed Mackerel with Smoked Paprika
Serves 4

5 tablespoons olive oil plus more for oiling baking dish
4 mackerel fillets, pin bones removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced into rings
½ cup chopped parsley
3 small garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 ¼ cups fresh bread crumbs
1 lemon, halved.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the fillets in a single layer. Rinse and dry the mackerel, then lay skin-side down in the baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Remove from heat and add the parsley, garlic and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Spoon the spiced bread crumbs evenly over the fillets. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the fish is opaque and tender, about 20 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet, and serve.

Evan Kleiman's Pizza Margherita


Before I get to any discussions of food today, I have to first talk about all the good reading out right now. If you haven't already, read Michael Pollan's piece on hunting feral pigs and eating them in the NY Times Magazine - it's fascinating, repulsive, and mouth-watering. Then, astonishingly, I found myself actually liking Tucker Carlson's article about working at the B&M canned bean plant (though, of course, the accompanying recipe for James Beard's baked beans really sealed the deal).

But the best thing I read all weekend, all month, all year so far? Calvin Trillin's article about his marriage in this week's New Yorker (with the black & white Bruce Eric Kaplan cover). I've been reading and laughing with Calvin for as long as I can remember, and like all of his loyal readers, I feel like I know his Alice, the love of his life, from his stories and articles and poems. In "Alice, Off the Page", he pays tribute to their marriage, their partnership, and their friendship, cut short by her death in 2001. I cried the whole way through. The article's not online, so buy the magazine. That article is worth the $3.99.

There's really no smooth way of segueing from heartbreak to pizza, so it'll just have to be blunt and awkward. On Friday we made pizza. After the success with Whole Foods' prepared pizza dough (I only had used half for the lemon pizza, and left the rest to sit in the fridge for a few more days before spreading it out on a sheet, drizzling it with olive oil and sprinkling the slipper-shaped bread with inky charnushka seeds (nigella sativa) before sliding it into a hot oven and letting it bake up into a blistery, chewy state of flatbread heaven), I wanted nothing more than to conquer pizza dough. Yeah, I know, get in line.

I figured I'd start with a pizza dough recipe that came from the LA Times a few years ago - courtesy of Evan Kleiman, the chef at Angeli Caffe in Los Angeles. She has you knead together a simple dough and then let it sit in the fridge for a few days, to develop better flavor and texture. When you're ready to cook, you roll out the dough quite thinly, then spread it with an herbed tomato sauce, full of sweetness and heat. We topped off the pizzas with slices of mozzarella di bufala and let the rounds cook until browned and bubbling in the very hot oven (without a pizza stone - shock, horror).

The pizzas were quite delicious, but they weren't what I was looking for. The dough wasn't as good as the Whole Foods dough (especially once it had rested for a few days). It had less character (I feel like an idiot saying my dough lacked character, but it did) and less flavor - it seemed smoother and one-dimensional. The sauce was nuanced and tasty, but would have been better on pasta. I guess I'm a purist - la pizza napoletana is what I'd like to conquer. I've got a long road ahead of me.

Pizza Dough
Makes 8 servings (four 10-inch pizzas)

1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cold water

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir to completely dissolve. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, olive oil and cold water. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a batter.

2. Sprinkle a work surface generously with flour. Transfer the batter to the floured surface. Knead in the remaining cup of flour a little at a time, kneading for 8 to 10 minutes in all. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not sticky; add a little more flour if needed. Shape the dough into a ball.

3. Oil a large bowl and put the dough in the bowl, turning the dough to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a plate and let it rest in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Sprinkle flour on a work surface. Divide the dough into quarters and form each piece into a tight, smooth ball, kneading it to push the air out. Place the dough balls on a lightly floured surface, cover them and let them rise for 1 hour. Or rub olive oil on the surface of the balls to coat, place them on a cookie sheet, cover with a towel and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight. Remove them from the fridge and let them come to room temperature before rolling them out and baking.

IMBB #24: Amanda Hesser's Lemon Chicken


I might have teased a few readers and friends some posts ago, promising to write the next day about the most amazing chicken recipe I'd made - but then the Tweety Scramble got in the way, and before I knew it it was Friday and people were accusing me of not delivering on the goods. And who am I to stand in the way of hungry, righteous cooks and their recipes?

Without further ado, I present to you the dish that made Ben look up from his plate a few days ago and proclaim firmly that this was the best thing I'd ever cooked for him. Ever. And I tell you, Ben's not the kind of guy to go throwing about proclamations like that as if they were peanuts. I have to admit that he does have a point. This chicken is good. And it's easy. Do I sound like a broken record sometimes with the "easy" and the "simple"? It's just that I feel those things so much contribute to the pleasure of a tasty meal. And in any case, this time it really is sort of the point.

The recipe comes a piece in the New York Times that Amanda Hesser wrote a few years ago about creme fraiche. Creme fraiche is Amanda's best friend: she has single-handedly done more publicity for the joys of creme fraiche than any other contemporary food writer I know. After buying a pot of creme fraiche for the Lemon Pizza last week, I spent the week using up the rest of it. There are certainly worse things in life: a dollop in my scrambled eggs, a fillip swirled into my soup, and several spoons cooked down into the silkiest, most fragrant sauce for chicken I have ever tasted.

All you do is fry some bone-in and well-seasoned chicken (I used two whole legs and two breasts) in a very hot pan until the skin is beautifully browned and crisp. Then you slide the pan into the oven to continue cooking until done. When the juices run clear from the chicken, remove it to a plate while you pour off most of the fat, add in the lemon juice and then the creme fraiche. Pour this golden gravy over your chicken, sprinkle it with a fluffy pile of lemon zest and you're done. The dish tastes bright and creamy at once - if you seasoned the chicken well, you've got a whole sparkling array of flavors to contend with.

To make this a contender for Too Many Chef's "Make It In 30 Minutes" Is My Blog Burning event, put a pot of rice on to boil in chicken stock as you're frying the chicken. While the chicken cooks in the oven, wash and dress a bowl of butter lettuce. By the time you've spooned the sauce over your chicken, the people you're cooking for will be practically begging you to feed them.

Lemon Chicken
Serves 4

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole chicken legs (thighs attached)
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup creme fraiche

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. After 3 minutes, add the butter and oil. Season the chicken generously with salt and very generously with pepper. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet and brown well on both sides, turning once.

2. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife.

3. Return the skillet to the stovetop. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Place over medium heat, add the lemon juice, and stir to scrape up any pan drippings. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the creme fraiche and stir until melted and bubbling. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with lemon zest and additional pepper. Serve hot.

David Lentz's Tweety Scramble

I figured it was only fair, after trying and loving all those Suzanne Goin recipes, to give her husband's food a try as well. I mean, if she can cook the way she does, some of that must rub off on the old ball and chain, I figure. In addition to their kitchen prowess, I have to also say, could they be any prettier? (Single-girl night, TBS, "Friends" reruns, forgive me.) Check out the April issue of Vogue (like you don't want to know how Jen is doing) - there's an Annie Leibovitz photograph of Suzanne and David Lentz on a rock, and holy wow, they are good-looking folks. They seem awfully nice, too.

Anyway, back in the fall, the LA Times published a piece on slow-scrambled eggs and their superiority to the regular flash-in-the-pan scramble most of us are used to. The recipes included methods for cooking eggs in a double-boiler, which just seemed unusually fussy, and David Lentz's way, namely in a nonstick pan over a very low flame while stirring clockwise. Since I was going to be cooking a single-girl dinner last night, a plate of eggs and a few Ryvita would hit the spot. I think Ben would have revolted if I had served that little plate up there to him and said "Eat up! That's all there is." But for me, it was perfect.

I halved the recipe (12 eggs serve 4 to 6 people, but as it was going to be my dinner, I calculated 3 eggs for one serving), and used my cast-iron pan (clean-up was a proverbial bitch: I had to resort to coarse salt and now I have to re-season my pan, sigh). I was surprised at how much the eggs cooked down: that serving you see up there is three eggs (and that plate is tiny). Stirring the eggs clockwise felt a bit silly at times, but as the minutes ticked on and the scramble slowly began to come together, I figured David must have had a point. I made sure to err on the side of moistness and when the eggs were scrambled but still trembly and wet, I turned off the pan (having stirred in the herbs and cheese - I substituted Parmigiano for Jack) and let them sit for a minute before piling the fluffy curds onto my crackers.

I dolloped a little bit more creme fraiche on top of the eggs, then drizzled them with olive oil and dug in. They were delicious. Soft and creamy, with character and bite from the barely cooked herbs, and a grassy quality from the olive oil (Portuguese, on sale at Murray's, fantastic). I left off the herb salad that David piles on top of the eggs - it seemed like too much feathery, frondy busy-ness. My heart sort of stopped when I realized I'd be eating six eggs in the course of 12 hours (breakfast!), but then I read the insert that came with my organic eggs ("I don't worry too much about eating eggs. I love them and try to eat two a day. My father loved them and ate two a day, and lived to be 81; and his mother, Mrs. Zitella Bass, ate two eggs per day and lived to be 105!" - and kept eating. After all, er, wouldn't the Ryvita balance everything out?

Julia Reed's Puree of Cauliflower with Curry


I kind of feel like I'm cheating. But here's the thing: all my binders of clippings? Sometimes they overwhelm me. They sit placidly on my bookshelves, glaring at me balefully each time I walk by. I feel like they're mocking me with their endless pages of soups and stews, cakes and cookies, things to cook and report on, and either lambast or praise. And in addition to all those hundreds of flimsy little clippings, pasted on loose-leaf paper carefully with rubber cement, I sometimes feel like I'm drowning (pleasantly) in cookbooks. You know what I mean? I'm so preoccupied with my newspaper recipes that my cookbooks get mostly ignored these days.

In an effort to pare down my life a bit, I decided last week to winnow out those books that I really don't need to have lying around anymore. I started by attacking a special section of cookbooks: The Best American Recipes. I collected these books sort of single-mindedly a few years back, enchanted by the idea that someone else was doing the work of going through magazines, newspapers, cookbooks and the internet to present, each year, a collection of The Best Recipes Ever. But in practice, I realized I barely cracked the books open (except to return repeatedly to this sauce, which really is among the best sauces in the world. Trust me). There was something too broad and vague about them.

So in a fit of determination and pigheadedness, I copied the recipes from each edition that I thought I might one day be interested in making, and got rid of the books (spanning the years 1999 to 2003). I was one step closer to a semblance of order. And lo and behold, some of the recipes I copied were even from the LA and NY Times! Serendipitous indeed. Two birds with one stone or whatever. So even though I didn't read these myself in the paper and clip them out, somebody else did and that was good enough for me. Almost. Which is why I feel like I'm cheating (yes, the problems in my life are mindblowing, aren't they). You'll just have to forgive me.

All of this long-windedness to segue into telling you about the cauliflower puree I made for dinner the other night - sigh. I need a stiff drink, I tell you, and it's not even 11:00 am. Julia Reed, Vogue profiler of senators and food writer extraordinaire (although I'm still wondering where she is these days), had her recipe for pureed cauliflower chosen from the New York Times Magazine for the 2002-2003 edition. The recipe consists simply of one head of cauliflower steamed and then blitzed in the food processor with butter, curry powder, salt, pepper, and a small amount of cooking water. You can add a spoonful or two of cream (which I did) to gussy it up a bit. That's it. The whole shebang. It takes less than 15 minutes to bring this to the table.

But I'm sort of ambivalent about this dish. Maybe because I don't need my cauliflower rendered into something akin to mashed potatoes to enjoy it? Or because my curry powder is from D'Agostino's and is as authentic as a pile of dirt?  I think this is another example of a dish that most people would like: it's fast and simple, but slightly exotic and different, appeals to finicky children - and adults - who don't like cauliflower (though if they like curry, inversely, would remain to be seen), and pretty nutritious. Ben, the bastion of taste outside of my crazy interior world, loved it and gobbled it up, proclaiming it to be a B+ dish. But me? I gamely ate a few forkfuls and then thought about how much I'd prefer a plate of steamed cauliflower tossed with oil and vinegar.

Oh well - at least I'm one recipe closer to order.

Puree of Cauliflower with Curry
Serves 6

1 2-pound cauliflower head
Heavy cream (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons hot curry powder, such as Madras
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1. Trim off the leaves and cut out the central core of the cauliflower; break it into florets. Peel the core and slice. Halve the florets lengthwise.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower core and florets, cover, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Drain the cauliflower, reserving the cooking water, and place in a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking water, heavy cream, if using, the 2 tablespoons butter, the curry powder, salt, and pepper and process to the desired consistency, adding more cooking liquid or butter, if desired. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately, or transfer the puree to a gratin dish and reheat in a 250-degree oven when ready to serve.

Leslie Brenner's Cream of Celery Soup


That serene pool of celadon-hued soup, marred only by the fussy addition of julienned celery leaves, looks so unassuming, doesn't it? And yet. While we were spooning it up last night, Ben pointed towards the bowl with his soup spoon (he was on the phone) and made one of the more protracted oh-my-god-this-is-the-most-delicious-thing-ever faces I'd ever seen from him, and then proceeded to silently mouth happily sated words to me in between bites of soup and telephone catch-up with a long-lost friend (yeah, we don't always sit around talking on the phone with other people when we're having dinner with each other, but in this case I had to make an exception... Jeff Levering!).

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the soup was. The recipe came from Leslie Brenner's piece in the LA Times a few weeks ago about the hidden wonders of celery, and was nothing more than a pot of sauteed onion, chicken broth, cubed potato and a whole mess of diced celery simmered until tender, then pureed and strained. On paper, it certainly didn't sound like much. I used an immersion blender which didn't work as well as blitzing the soup in a blender or food processor. When I attempted to strain the soup with a fine-mesh strainer I was left with a pot of watery liquid and a strainer full of mush. So I dumped everything back into the big pot, and used a large-holed colander to hold back the chunks of vegetable that hadn't made it through the blender.

I added one tablespoon of cream to swirl prettily into the soup, but had to add no salt or pepper - it was nicely seasoned from the broth already. The result was a light and delicately-flavored soup that made the perfect appetizer for our hearty Sunday meal. The feathery celery leaves sprinkled on top of the soup were nice to look at, but kind of got in the way as we ate, so I'd leave them off next time. I always thought celery was sort of ugly duckling of stock vegetables: unless the stalks were filled with peanut butter, or diced to saute with onions and carrots, I didn't have a whole lot of interest in them. But this chic little soup changed my mind. Plus, don't you think the color's just divine? I bet Martha has a boudoir in one of her many houses painted that color. Or maybe a guest bathroom. Or a kitchen, with matching appliances?

Cream of Celery Soup
Servings: 4

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Idaho potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch dice (a scant 2 cups diced)
10 stalks celery, trimmed and cut into 1/2 -inch slices (about 6 cups sliced)
5 cups homemade chicken stock or good-quality purchased chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Celery leaves for garnish

1. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 7 or 8 minutes.

2. Add the potato, celery and chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes and celery are very tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Purée in a food processor or blender (you'll need to do this in two or three batches), then pass the soup through a medium sieve, pressing the solids with the back of a wooden spoon.

4. Pour into a clean pot, add the salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the cream, if desired. The soup may be kept warm on low heat until ready to serve.

5. Cut the celery leaves into chiffonade and garnish the soup before serving.