Last week was cold. It had us running around all crazy looking for warm clothes: socks, hats and gloves (which always seem to find a home away from each other). It also made me think about how we change our shopping and eating habits with the seasons too. My last garden tomatoes are on the counter, coaxing the sun to make them ripe, while I’ll pine for sweet corn until summer brings those snappy yellow kernels again.
Now it is the time for squash, onions, garlic, potatoes…and celery root. That crazy looking knobby thing. A bit of a beast to work with, but well worth it. This recipe is great because it is delicious and it utilizes other items in my fall pantry. I have apples, check! Wild Rice, check! Cream or milk…um, need to go to the store, but we are more than halfway there! Try this one out for the holidays, and proclaim that you knew celery root was awesome under the knobs all along!
Celery Root-Apple Wild Rice Chowder
Ingredients: Serves 4
1⁄2 cup local hand harvested wild rice, uncooked
1 celery root, peeled and small diced (about 1 lb.)
1 leek, washed and diced
1⁄2 yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (use 2 apples if they are small)
1 cup potato, washed and diced, with skin (I like to use white sweet potato, but Yukon gold works well too)
Few parsley sprigs, thyme. Or whatever large herb bits you have around to add to the mix
3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock, or use the wild rice water)
1 cups half and half or milk (if keeping vegan, use almond milk)
Rinse the wild rice in a fine meshed colander, and place in a sauce pan. Cover with 3 cups water, bring to a boil and lower the heat. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender. Save the water! Set cooked rice aside. This can be done 2 days ahead.
Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the leeks, onions, and celery root. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the apple, potato, herbs, and stock. Bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are soft.
Add the half and half and puree half the soup, or all of it for a creamier consistency. If you have an immersion blender, this is where you can use it!
If soup is too thick, add the wild rice water to thin it. Check for salt, add fresh cracked black pepper.
When serving, add the wild rice to the bowls, and top with the hot soup. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toasted sunflower seeds are great as well!
Will last 4 days in the refrigerator, freezes well.