Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creamy Potato and Corn Chowder

   As you may be finding out, I love to cook food that speaks of the season.  When the weather starts to cool off after a very long, hot summer I am practically grabbing at the opportunity to begin my fall meals.  I have been craving potato soup recently, but I wanted to make it with a twist.  This recipe was inspired by my love of potato soup, and the fact that I had some beautiful freshly frozen garden corn that I bought at a local farmer's market store.  So, I decided to do a take on creamy potato soup and rich corn chowder!  It was delicious! 

   The way I start most of my soups is with the aromatic of onion.  I usually saute with olive oil and in this case a little butter for richness and help the "roux" like base to come together. You can add whatever you else you like, like garlic or celery if you want. I will probably add some minced garlic the next time. Cooking is all about satifying your own taste, just make sure you practice before serving your guests the final recipe!  This recipe is written out rather casually because I didn't really measure any ingredients.  Like I said, use your Cook's intuition to help you out! This beautiful Creamy Potato and Corn Soup is delicious as summer takes a bow out to introduce my favorite season, Autumn!  (Better yet, enjoy eating this with a blanket and a movie!)

Creamy Potato and Corn Chowder

Chop about 4 medium sized potatoes into chunks. (I used red potatoes because that's what the farmer's market had, but you could use russets as well.) Dice about half of a sweet onion and 3 carrots into about the same size.  Pour some olive oil and a couple pats of butter into a dutch oven set on medium.  Once the butter melts, drop the carrots in and let begin to get soft, then add the onion. Salt and pepper a bit.  I like for these veggies to get very soft before the next step.  Then you will take enough flour to stir into the butter and oil to make almost a paste.  Stir this for a minute to get the bitter flour taste out.  The flour is a thickener for the soup.
 Once this is done, add about 2 cans of reduced sodium chicken broth and stir to break up the roux while scraping the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add the potatoes and frozen corn and bring to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, I turn down the heat a bit until the potatoes get tender.  They will soak up some of the yummy chicken broth flavors.
Once the potatoes are tender, add milk (I only keep skim milk, but 2% would make it even creamier) and if you want add a bit of cream for an even silky texture.  I didn't feel like mine needed any (not to mention we are trying to cut back on fat a little bit)! Then I add a good portion of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and dried thyme.  Fresh thyme would be amazing if you have some!  This goes so well with the potato and corn flavors.  Simmer together for a few minutes and ladle into bowls.  I served this with chedder garlic biscuits, and it was a match made in heaven.  Even just buttered bread would be dreamy!

Grocery List:
Red or Russet Potatoes
Frozen or Fresh Corn
Garlic (Optional)
Olice Oil
Chicken Broth or Stock
Cream (optional)

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