It should be relatively tight and compact and not have stalks that splay out. The leaves should be pale to bright green in color and free from yellow or brown patches. Sometimes celery can have a condition called "blackheart" that is caused by insects. To check for damage, separate the stalks and look for brown or black discoloration. In addition, evaluate the celery to ensure that it does not have a seed stem, the presence of a round stem in the place of the smaller tender stalks that should reside in the center of the celery. Celery with seed stems are often more bitter in flavor.
To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients. Freezing will make celery wilt and should be avoided unless you will be using it in a future cooked recipe.
This hearty soup will satisfy the family.
Chicken and Sausage Soup
Copyright 2012, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.
3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 smoke sausage links, slice into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked bowtie pasta
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in resealable storage bag, add extra virgin olive oil and Worcestershire sauce, turn to coat.
In skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chicken, cook about 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through and no longer pink.
Meanwhile, In Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, celery, salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaves, stir well, cook about 3 minutes, until tender. Stir in cooked chicken, sausage and remaining ingredients, stir well, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook for 30 minutes. Enjoy!