Celery Root and Wild Rice Chowder

  • 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

Cover wild rice with 5 cups water in small  saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Thickly cut away celery root skins, then quarter and chop the root into bite-sized pieces. You should
have about 3 cups. Chop and wash leeks.  Melt butter in a soup pot. Add vegetables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then add stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add half-and-half and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper. To
give soup a creamy background, puree a cup of the vegetables and return them to the pot (don’t forget to remove bay leaf!). If soup is too thick, thin with rice water or additional stock.  Divide soup among 4 or 6 bowls and add a mound of wild rice to each. Garnish with parsley and a drop of truffle oil, if using, and serve.

From Local Flavors by Deborah Madison