Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Magical Celery Bisque (vegan)

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Magical Celery Bisque (vegan), Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

I find it amazing how a bisque can transform the most meager of ingredients into a bowl of decadence. Take celery, for instance. Not everyone’s favorite star ingredient, nor is it exactly hailed for it’s deep and rich flavor, but let the bisque work it’s magic and you might change your mind about things.

Unfortunately, a bisque usually implies butter and cream – which is partly what makes them so delicious, but also the reason they’re not that great for you and tend to be pretty heavy. Vegan bisques are better I guess, but a lot of those use a ton of vegetable oil or fake non-dairy cream stuff as a substitute, which isn’t not particularly nutritious either. I find the fake dairy stuff oily and weird anyway. The point being, bisques are as fattening as they are delicious and I just can’t get passed that. Enter Silken Tofu as our rich and creamy substitute that’s actually loaded with protein and we’ve got a truly magical bisque here…

We all love our extra firm tofu, but when it comes to pureeing or adding texture and protein, silken tofu is where it’s at. This slippery stuff incorporates right into just about anything when blended well. Great for smoothies and when it comes to bisques, silken tofu is heaven sent for those of us looking for a healthy non-dairy alternative (and you seriously can’t tell the difference in this case).

We tend to think of celery as a base ingredient or something we toss in as a background ingredient for some extra flavor or crunch. Like in tuna salad or chicken soup. But I think we forget how incredibly flavorful celery becomes when it’s cooked down and all that off-putting stringy stuff transforms to velvety texture and rich flavor. For this soup we cook it down until it’s very tender and falling apart, like this. and then whip it up (using and immersion blender, food processor, or blender) until it’s sliky smooth.

This soup tastes clean and rich at the same time. It’s buttery and smooth with a fantastic balance of sweetness and heat from the cayenne pepper. Nobody will believe that it’s so healthy, delicious and dairy free! Super simple to make and freezes great. Truly magical.

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Coop+prep time: 35 mins. Serves 4-6. Freezes great! Vegan. Reserve a little of the raw chopped celery for adding on top of each bowl of soup for some nice and fresh crunch!

You need:

  • Entire large cluster of celery
  • Half a white onion
  • One clove of garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • 3/4 container silken tofu (or more if you like it creamier)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water


  1. Dice celery (including the leaves), garlic and onion. Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan or soup pot and sauté celery, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper until celery begins to break down a bit (about 6-7 minutes). Add water, cover, reduce heat and cook at a simmer until celery is very tender and falling apart (about 15 minutes).
  2. Spoon all the celery mixture into the food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one). Add the cayenne pepper, silken tofu and puree away until nice and smooth. Add a bit more water if it seems too thick.
  3. Serve it with some raw diced celery and celery leaves sprinkled on top!



  1. Posted March 14, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely in love with this recipe and a brilliant idea for using tofu! Could give you a big hug for this, seriously.


  2. Posted March 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Oh wow, this looks so, so great. I love the idea to substitute the silken tofu! I will be giving this a try myself, I promise you. Thanks!

    -Emily K.

  3. Janne
    Posted March 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    Looks delish,!

    I will make mine with lots of butter and/or coconut oil, rganic cream or home-made almond/cashew milk. We don’t eat unfermented soy.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. Emily
    Posted March 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Yum! This has me dreaming up a variation made with celeriac (celery root). Have you ever had it? It’s one of my favorite root vegetables. It has a more complex celery flavor, and a creamier consistency, which I think would work well here.

  5. Posted March 22, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    This sounds like a wonderful recipe and I actually happen to love celery (although my husband isn’t really that crazy about it) so hopefully as you said it will be a welcomed treat that we both will enjoy!!

  6. Posted March 24, 2013 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    Smitten by the how you have put together some rudimentary ingredients and turned them into something so tantalizing.

    Today I and my family are going Vegan thanks to this wonderful soup. And yeah, there is going to be generous amount of tofu in my version.

    Great share!!!

  7. Angela
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    I just made this with about half a bunch of celery, with fennel (half a bulb, three or four stalks) to make up the difference. So delicious! Thank you!

  8. Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    This soup will be part of our Easter meal. Thanks!!!

  9. Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the great Celery Bisque recipe, looks yummy! Love your site too.

  10. Posted April 11, 2013 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

    This soup looks magnificent. I’ve included in my Kosher Cooking Carnival roundup. Thanks for a great dish!

  11. Posted April 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    This soup looks fantastic and I had never thought of using tofu in this way. I have only eaten the “block” type tofu, not the silken version mentioned here and it makes such sense to use it instead of dairy. I like the idea of fennel to give it an extra aniseed kick as well.

  12. Posted April 13, 2013 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    I fell in love with this recipe just about the same time I fell in love with your blog! I just stumbled upon you and can’t wait to keep exploring. I too am a fan of the beet (it’s the logo on my blog).

  13. Posted April 18, 2013 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    This looks amazing. I love celery now (my tastes have changed in the last few years – I used to hate it!) and I’m lactose-intolerant so this is a perfect way to make a filling celery soup for me.

  14. spaf
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    I love you

  15. Nancy
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    This is really delicious…I had to use 3 cups of liquid (half water and half almond milk for extra creaminess) because my celery was so large. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Maria
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    Just finished making it! My brother and dad devoured it within minutes! Was absolutly delicious!

  17. Wendy
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    I’ve had issues with using soymilk as a soup base (it just tastes wrong to me somehow, although rice milk I can handle) so i wasn’t sure about the silken tofu cream ingredient. This soup tasted great, and I will definitely make it again. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  18. Newt
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful!

    I used your base of onion, garlic and celery, but I also added in some spinach and jalapeno that I needed to use up. It turned out great! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I will be making this again.

  19. Posted January 3, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Great blog – love Celery Bisque – keep up the good work.

  20. Jessica C
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    Tried this recipe! Delicious!

  21. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    This soup looks fabulous. Love your blog too!

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