Chilled Celery Soup with Nantucket Bay Scallops

Overhauling her mother's celery sticks with cream cheese, Lynch finishes this cool, silky soup—flavored with parsley and crème fraîche—by adding a luxurious touch: a generous mound of tender bay scallops, which she gets from a friend who lives on Nantucket.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

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  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 8 celery ribs, thinly sliced, plus 2 tablespoons shredded celery leaves, for garnish
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 1/3 cups crème fraîche
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds Nantucket bay scallops (see Note)

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 8 minutes.

  2. Working in batches, puree the soup with the parsley. Strain the soup into a bowl, pressing on the solids. Whisk in the crème fraîche and refrigerate until chilled. Season the soup with salt and white pepper.

  3. Just before serving, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet until smoking. In a bowl, season the scallops with salt and pepper and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the scallops to the pan; cook over high heat, turning, until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and mound the scallops in the center. Sprinkle with the celery leaves and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The celery soup can be refrigerated overnight.


If you can't find Nantucket bay scallops, larger scallops can be used instead; quarter them before cooking.

Contributed By Photo © Maura McEvoy Published November 2006

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