Cream of Celery Soup

Serves: 4

¼ cup salted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups very finely chopped organic celery (about 5 large ribs)
1 large clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
1½ cups half and half
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Very finely dice the onion and celery and mince the garlic.
2. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven and cook the onion, celery and garlic over medium-high heat until soft and translucent, approximately ten (10) minutes.
3. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute while stirring constantly.
4. Add the broth and half and half.
5. Stir continually to prevent the flour from clumping.
6. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a medium simmer.  Reduce the heat immediately to medium low.
7. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
8. Add salt to taste.

Note: The end result is a perfectly delicious cream of celery soup that is SO much more flavorful than the canned variety. This soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days, and is an excellent base for other soups, stews and casseroles.