Kale and Celeriac Chowder
I've adapted Deborah Madison's original Endive and Celeriac Chowder to accommodate the items of today's share. The result should be an ideal for soup for a cold, late-fall supper. Serves 4.
2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 lb. kale leaves, washed and chopped
2 leeks, white parts only, chopped and rinsed well
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 lb. kohlrabi, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/2 lb. celery root, peeled and cut into small dice
2 large carrots, diced
2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped (or 3/4 tsp. dried, crumbled)
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cream
dash of dry sherry
2 TB finely chopped parsley*
1 TB snipped chives*
1 tsp chopped taragon*
4 slices country bread
2 ounces Manchester cheese (or Gruyere), thinly sliced
Melt the butter in a wide large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables smell good and there's a little glaze on the bottom of the pot, about 7 minutes.
Add stock to cover along with 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft to the point of falling apart, about 25 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup so that it is a light green, with only a few chunks remaining. Pour in the cream, taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in half the herbs.*
Toast the bread and cut each piece into halves or quarters. Divide the pieces among 4 bowls and cover with the cheese. Ladle the soup over the toast and cheese and serve garnished with a dash of sherry and remaining fresh herbs.
*If you don't have frozen versions of these from the summer, try mixing 1/3 of the amount called for in dry form into the soup while it cooks.