Summery Corn Chowder
One of the reasons I love cooking is because I think food is simply beautiful. I love the colors of the chopped vegetables in the picture above – so vibrant.
Chopping can be a bit of a meditative practice, I think, when done in the right mindset. Today was one of those days for me.
I also think there is a bit of a magical quality to soup: The putting together of disparate ingredients into a big pot and the melting together of flavors into flavorful spoonfuls of healthy nourishment. That, to me, is everyday magic.
But enough talk from me! Here’s the recipe:
Summery Corn Chowder
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 leek (white part only, although as you can see, I took that fairly liberally and put in some of the green part as well), halved lengthwise and chopped
1 baking potato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed (I chopped them too)
1 16-ounce bag frozen corn, (thawed, although I didn’t thaw them first)
4 cups stock (I used chicken, but vegetable would work just as well)
2 tbsp dry sherry or red wine vinegar
* For the bouquet garni, put 8 sprigs of thyme with 1tbs of peppercorns and 2 bay leaves into several layers of cheesecloth. Tie together with kitchen twine. I did it slightly differently though, since I had no cheesecloth (or bay leaves). I put the peppercorns into a tea strainer meant for loose leaf tea, bound the thyme together with kitchen twine which made it easy to retrieve after the soup had cooked as well. Some of the thyme leaves came off, but I decided I could live with that.
1. Drizzle oil in a 3-quart soup pot and swirl it around until the oil coats the entire surface. Once it’s heated up, add the ginger and stir it for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the celery, carrot, ontion, leek, potato and garlic. Stir the veggies around until they begin to cook but don’t turn brown.
2. Stir in the corn. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring often to avoid burning the veggies on the bottom. Add the stock, dry sherry or vinegar and cook for 45 minutes. Remove soup pot from heat. Cool 15 minutes. Remove bouquet garni (or tea strainer and bunch of thyme, as the case may be). Strain out 1 cup of the veggies; set aside.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the rest of the soup right in the soup pot until creamy but with some chunks of corn still visible. Return the reserved vegetables to the soup pot. Stir in salt to taste. Season to taste with pepper. Heat through.
To add a bit of a southwestern flavor to it, I also added half a de-seeded chipotle pepper. This made it rather spicy, which Ben and I both loved. However, if you just want a little kick to it, I’d probably stick to hot sauce.
Tomorrow will be my last post before I take off for a visit to my family in The Netherlands! I have some fun news to share as well (Note to my family: No, I’m not pregnant.). See you guys tomorrow!