Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, and add 1 1/2 pounds of sliced celery ribs, 2 large chopped onions and 3 chopped garlic cloves. Add 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook for a minute or two over low heat.
Add 6 cups of chicken broth and a bay leaf, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the bay leaf, and puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Add 3 or 4 dashes of hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of heavy cream. Sprinkle in salt and white pepper to taste. Reheat the soup and allow it to simmer for five minutes.
For additional flavor add some bacon croutons to the soup. Cook 4 ounces of bacon in a large skillet over moderate heat, stirring the pieces occasionally until they are crisp and browned, about eight minutes. Move the bacon to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the bacon fat, and add three 1/2-inch-thick country bread slices that have been sliced into 1/2-inch dice. Cook the bread over medium-high heat for until crisp and browned, about eight minutes. Move to the baking sheet lined with paper towels and season to taste.