A couple of times in the past months, I've gotten some lame-looking celery in my CSA box. It was extremely stringy and some had lumps all over it. The hearts were also not crisp. The taste, however, was very good, if a little strong.
So I decided to use up the 3 bunches I had to make some celery soup. I could only find one recipe in all the cookbooks I searched and that was in one of Deborah Madison's Greens' books. It also contained lovage, which I didn't have and didn't have any ideas about its composition, appearance or taste.
So I sauteed some onions, chopped up the celery and a few leaves and sauteed them for a while. Added some home-made chicken stock and some chopped potatoes (also from CSA). Sprinkled a bit of dried thyme in along with some salt and lots of pepper. After it had cooked for a while, I blended some of it and then poured it back into the rest of the soup. I then sloshed in about 1/4-1/2 cup of half and half. It was wonderful. It had creaminess and chunkiness at the same time.
So if you ever find yourself with a couple of bunches of stringy organic celery, this is the way to go!