Happy New Year everyone! Welcome back to another year of the Happy Valley Locavore.
Give this chowder a try even if it sounds odd to you - it's delicious. The recipe is adapted from one in Deborah Madison's Local Flavors.
Though optional, this is particularly good with the chowder ladled over small mounds (1/4-1/2 cup) of cooked wild and/or brown rice in the bottom of the bowl. I made it with a mix of wild, brown, and other rices that is available at Green Fields Market. If you serve it this way, get the rice cooking before you work on the rest of the soup so that it is ready when the soup is done.
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cups celeriac in 1/2-inch cubes (peeled first)
1 medium potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1-2 frozen parsley ice cubes
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried shiitake mushrooms
Water or vegetable stock
2 cups milk (use whole for an extra-creamy chowder, but even skim works)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the butter in a soup pot. Add the onion, celeriac, potato, parsley, and bay leaf and saute over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped dried shiitakes and enough stock or water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
When the vegetables are tender, you can optionally use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup (do not fully puree). Stir in the milk and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve hot, ladled over cooked whole grain rice if desired.
Serves about 4.