Saturday, November 23, 2013

Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder

One of Jon's favorite types of meals is having a great soup or chowder with fresh bread or cheese toasts--preferably in a bread bowl--but I won't be making that today.  Winter has hit Chicago with a chilly wind that makes the low temperatures of 22 degrees seem below zero; and, there is nothing like coming in from the cold to a hot bowl of chowder, soup or stew.

If you plan ahead, most soups and chowders can be frozen in small tupperware portions that can easily be thawing while you head out the door.  The only caveat to making soups and chowder is the prep work--something you should be familiar with at this point if you have done any cooking from this blog.

Get your ingredients prepped and the fire started.  Let's do this!
(Adapted from Cooking Light's The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook)

Can be vegan or vegetarian if you exchange butter for olive oil and use vegetable broth!

Large 5 qt saucepan (like the one you have seen in previous blogs to boil pasta or eggs)
Dutch Oven (is also an option if you have one instead of the sauce pan)
Mixing bowl (to soak the leeks clean)

Dutch Oven

5-Qt Saucepan

2 Tbls butter
1 Tbls olive oil
1 1/2 cups leek, coarsely chopped, soaked in cold water (this removes the dirt), and drained.
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup of carrot, finely chopped

2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
3 Tbls flour
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (I use bouillon for both space-saving / money-saving reasons)

2 lbs yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed (can place them in cold water to avoid turning brown if need)
2 cups of corn kernels, drained
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch of fresh parsley

Hot sauce or cheese (optional)

1. Wash your hands. 
2. Read the recipe and get organized.
3. Clean, peel and prep all of your veggies.  Prepare you broth if you are using bouillon.

4. Heat your dutch oven or large sauce pan over MEDIUM heat with butter / oil.
5. Add leek, celery, red peppers, and carrots.  Cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.  Stir often.

6. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl with a whisk.

7. Slowly add the milk mixture to your veggies while stirring frequently.

8. Stir in the broth.

9. Add your potatoes, corn, salt and pepper.  Bring entire mixture to a boil.

10. Reduce heat to SIMMER for 20 minutes.  Cook until potatoes tender.
11. Add cheese, hot sauce and/or parsley.

12. Make some buttered toast or just have great Italian or French bread ready for dipping.

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