I’m still not feeling great so I thought soup would be nice. I’m going to try Mrs. E. Hollinger’s recipe for Cream of Celery Soup from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I started by chopping up a cup of celery and putting it in a pot with two cups of water to cook. Once the celery was soft I removed it from the water. I kept the water and pushed the celery through the sieve — well I tried to push it through the sieve. I managed to get some into the soup. I heated the milk and then mixed what seemed a large amount of flour with cold water. I stirred it into the milk and kept stirring until it thickened a bit. I added the water I’d used for cooking the celery and my sieved celery. Butter, salt and pepper were next. You’ll see in the recipe that the directions and ingredient list don’t entirely match. Vegetable water is mentioned in the ingredients but in the directions celery is mentioned twice. I deduced that one of these meant the water in which the celery cooked. The end result seemed okay so I’m going to assume I made the right decision. Once the soup was hot I served it up for tasting.
Mary Cook and Edwin Hollinger are an interesting couple. They married in 1895. In the 1901 census Mr. and Mrs. Hollinger are in their early thirties and live in Waterloo where they have a hotel called the Commercial Hotel. The hotel seems to have changed hands shortly after this and the 1911 census has the couple listed as lodgers at 35 Joseph Street in Berlin and Edward’s occupation is Retired Hotel Keeper.
I’d expected Cream of Celery Soup to have a hint of green or at the very least taste of celery. Neither of these assumptions proved correct. The soup tastes okay but the celery flavour is barely there. This is essentially milk soup. I suppose the celery has added some vitamins although it needs to be cooked for so long to become tender that some will be gone. At least using the cooking water helps return vegetable nutrition to the soup. I’m not sure this soup is worth the effort.
CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
Mrs. E. Hollinger
2 cups milk, 1 cup cooked celery, 2 cups vegetable water 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons butter, a little pepper. Use the tough outer stalks of celery, cook until tender and press through a sieve. Heat the milk, mix the flour with an equal measure of cold water and stir it into the hot milk, stirring until it thickens. Stir in the butter, celery and cooked celery, add the seasoning, reheat and serve.