Friday, March 12, 2010

Corn Chowder!

As Springtime weather gradually makes it's misty approach into the Carolina mountains, scratch made soup continues to warm and satisfy on the damp, cold afternoons. Yesterday was one of these days, with on and off drizzle, a bit of a chill, and all of the neighborhood birds testing their vocals for warmer days.
As my friend and I chatted while working outside, our conversation naturally took a turn toward food. And then soup. Her favorite is corn chowder. As soon as she uttered the words, I knew what I would be doing when I got home. In usual me fashion, I didn't patiently wait for her to send along the recipe, and went for it blind. I am so glad I did, because it was just what the afternoon called for. Flavorful, creamy, and deeply warming.

Corn Chowder:
*1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
*2 celery stalks, chopped, plus any additional celery leaves, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
*3 gold potatoes, chopped
*1 bag frozen organic sweet corn
*5-6 cups chicken stock
*salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and potato, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic. Add stock and corn. Simmer until all flavors marry, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer about 3-4 cups of the soup to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Return to soup pot and stir. Rewarm. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

*Blending a portion of the soup creates a creamy texture without dairy. You can do this with many other soups to create the same outcome.
Also, using homemade stock really increases the satisfaction factor of soup. If you roast whole chickens on occasion, (or any other kind of meat with bones), remember to save the bones and store in the freezer for stock. I had a lovely organic chicken carcass in the freezer, which I credit for this soup's rich flavor.*


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