This is an absolutely amazing soup! I made it last week and have been looking forward to blogging about it ever since. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera handy when I was mixing it up but I'm sure I'll be making it again before too long so I'll post pictures then. When finished, it seems very sophisticated and is delicious, but it's fairly simple to throw together (or at least it felt simple to me when I was doing it). :) And don't worry, it doesn't really taste very much like celery at all. I personally don't really care much for celery, but I love this soup! Yum!
The recipe comes from: Local Flavors by Deborah Madison. I would highly highly recommend it for anyone who likes to try out fun new/obscure (and old/traditional) vegetables. It is filled with great recipes using fun ingredients like: sorrel, nettles, lamb's quarters, chicory, kohlrabi, black kale... but there are plenty of recipes that feature only old standbys like tomatoes, corn, broccoli, and eggplant (to name only a few!).
Celery Root and Wild Rice Chowder
Serves 4 to 6
from Local Flavors
by Deborah Madison
1/2 cup wild rice
1 celery root (about 1 pound)
2 large leeks, white parts only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 celery rib, diced
1 cup thinly sliced russet potato
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 bay leaf
1 large thyme sprig
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
2 cups half-and-half or milk
truffle oil, optional
1. Cover the wild rice with 5 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
2. Thickly cut away the celery root skins, then quarter and chop the root into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 3 cups. Chop and wash the leeks.
3. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the vegetables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the half-and-half and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper. To give the soup a creamy background, puree a cup of the vegetables and return them to the pot. If the soup is too thick, thin it with some of the rice water or additional stock.
4. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and then add a mound of the wild rice to each. Garnish each bowl with parsley and add a drop of truffle oil, if using, and serve.
In my opinion, the final step of topping the soup off with wild rice, parsley, and truffle oil really made it something special. I don't think I would have bothered with the truffle oil at all, but we happened to have some that was given to us as a wedding present so it was really nice to get a chance to use it! Woodley and I both loved the texture of the wild rice and I think I'll be adding it to other chowders that I make in the future. It really gives it a hearty and wholesome flavor that makes the soup seem less rich.