Celery is a unique soup ingredient that can be difficult to replace, but there are more than a few options! Here are the best ingredients to substitute for celery in soup.
Making a soup and realize you don’t have any celery?
The best celery substitutes for soup and stew include carrots, fennel, and leeks.
Top Celery Substitutes in Soup
Carrots are a great celery alternative as they provide the crunch of celery — without actually having the celery! Usually, carrots are already in recipes that call for celery, making your job that much easier.
When using carrots in your soup recipe, just double the amount of carrots being used.
Remember that carrots will make your soup taste sweeter than it would if you had used celery, so you may need to adjust your seasoning.
Fennel, or fennel stalk, to be exact, is another great celery alternative for soup. Most people are familiar with fennel as an herb that tastes slightly of anise, or licorice. The cooking process for fennel stalk will mellow that flavor, making it taste fresh – and similar to celery.
It’s important to note that the actual stalk of the fennel plant is to be used as a substitute here. While fennel leaves will give your soup or stew an excellent taste, they shouldn’t be considered a substitute for celery.
Celery can be substituted with chopped leeks, or you can add these leeks alternatives to your soup. Leeks come from the same plant family as onions, so putting them in your soup may give it a slightly more onion-y taste.
That said, your flavor will be even richer than if you had used celery – so it may taste even better!
Alternative Celery Substitutes
Decided you want to make something other than soup, and still don’t have celery on hand? These make for great celery alternatives in salads and other dishes.
Jicama, a starchy root vegetable, is a good alternative to celery both cooked and raw. Jicama has a slightly sweeter and juicer taste than its cousin, the potato. Its nutty taste and crunchy texture make it especially appealing for a chicken or pasta salad dish.
5. Green Apple
Green apple is best used as a substitute for celery in salads. Celery usually shows up in salads to provide a crunchy texture – it doesn’t add much to the flavor.
Apples, while they have a completely different flavor profile than celery, mimic the crunch celery provides in a salad.
Similar to green apples, cucumber and cornichon are a viable alternative for celery in salads or other cold dishes. They’re a good option when you’re not looking to replace the taste, but rather the texture of celery.
Can I Use Celery Seed as an Alternative to Celery?
While you can use celery seed in place of celery, this will only give your dish a slightly similar taste to that of celery, and will not replicate the texture.
If you decide to use celery seed in place of celery in your soup, try using it in addition to another vegetable that mimics the texture, like carrots or fennel stalks.