Knob Celery Soup

November 2, 2023

My grandmother served this soup on a recent visit, and I was instantly sold. It’s surprisingly simple for the depth of flavor it delivers. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Yield: 6–8 servings


3 tablespoons oil

2 large onions

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 large knob celery, peeled and diced

1 parsnip, peeled and diced

1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced

1 zucchini, peeled and diced

10 cups water (plus 2, if using barley)

½ tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup barley (optional)


In a large pot, heat the oil.

Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Add the rest of the vegetables, then add the water and spices.

Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and allow to cook until all the vegetables are fork-tender, about 1 to 1½ hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool before blending with an immersion blender.

If adding barley, add 2 cups of water and barley and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and allow to simmer for an additional hour.