Celery Soup with Anise Seed

This creamy soup with so few ingredients makes for a deeply comforting course. The flavor of licorice is so savory. Orzo is a tiny pasta shaped like rice.

Serves 6 -8


  • celery – 1-1/2 LBS, 1 head
  • leeks – 1-1/2 cups, white and light green portion, sliced
  • anise seed – 1 TBS
  • butter – 2 TBS, or neutral oil
  • vegetable stock – 4-5 cups; less for a stew like consistency
  • orzo pasta – 2/3 cups or other small macaroni shapes
  • salt – 1 tsp or to taste
  • garnish – fresh chopped tarragon, or scallions or chives


  1. Clean the leek well, lightly peel celery if stringy
  2. Heat the butter in a soup pot or pressure cooker; sauté the anise seed for 10 seconds, stirring constantly
  3. Add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes, then stir in the celery, salt, and stock
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the celery is tender, about 20-25 minutes
  5. Add the pasta and simmer till al denté
  6. With a slotted spoon remove about a third of the soup and puree or use an immersion blender directly into the soup pot until the soup takes on a creamy body
  7. Taste and correct seasoning
Immersion Blend Makes a Creamy Soup

PRESSURE COOKER INSTRUCTION: Use a pressure cooker and after Step 5, lock down the lid and bring to pressure. Cook for 4 minutes and quick release, then continue with step 6

ADDITION OR AS PLANNED-OVER: Use a half pound of mild Italian sausage. Remove the casing and in a skillet brown while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add to the soup at step 7 and allow to simmer for 5 minutes to meld flavors.

— Recipe adapted from Lorna Sass’s, Cooking Under Pressure, recipe by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi

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