Winter Vegetable Chowder
- 2 cups milk, whole
- 3 large parsley branches
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ onion sliced
- 10 peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 5 juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large leeks
- 4 cups of chopped winter vegetables
- 3 boiling potatoes
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 to 6 large slices sourdough or country style bread, toasted
- grated gruyere or parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley, tarragon, or lovage
Put everything for the milk in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat. Cover and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
Melt the butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add the vegetables, bay leaves, parsley, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and add five cups of water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Pour the milk through a strainer right into the soup. Taste for salt and season with pepper. To serve, lay a piece of toast in each bowl, cover it with grated cheese, ladle the soup on top, and sprinkle with parsley.
Deborah Madison is an American chef, writer and cooking teacher. She has been called an expert on vegetarian cooking and her gourmet repertoire showcases fresh garden produce. Her work also highlights Slow Food, local foods and farmers' markets.