"Celery root, also called celeriac, is texturally close to potatoes when cooked and has a unique flavor reminiscent of celery and parsley."
3 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 leeks, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 salmon fillet (12 ounces), skin and pin bones removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 t fresh lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
In a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
Add the leeks and saute over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the celery root, clam juice, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the celery root is tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the salmon
Add the bacon, half-and-half, tarragon, and parsley to the soup pot. Cook just below a simmer until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. (The half-and-half will curdle if the soup comes to a boil.) Remove the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme. Add the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir gently to keep the salmon chunks intact. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 as a light supper
This chowder is not your typical rich, heavy chowder. Considering it has bacon and half-and-half, it is suprisingly light. The salmon cooks to perfection right in the broth. One tip regarding the celery root... make sure you peel enough of the rough peel off so it doesn't end up in your chowder.