September 14, 2011

Corn Chowder

One of my favorite comfort  foods on a chilly day; a cup of creamy corn chowder.

I first had Corn chowder at "Panera Bread" in Michigan. If you have never been to Panera in the states, it's a lovely bakery and bistro type establishment. They have baked goods, delicious sandwiches and a variety of soups. In the fall they have corn chowder and seeing as how I love corn, having corn chowder sounded delightful.  It was a bit on the spicy side, which is not for everyone, but I actually like it.  Needless to say, I analyzed it as I was enjoying it too, so I would know how to make it at home...  Good thing, because we went there at a different time of the year looking for my corn chowder, which now became my favorite soup, but they didn't have it anymore... 
I guess it was one of those seasonal things on their menu. When I came home, I decided to put together my own recipe. It turned out pretty good. 
Here it is for you to try.





Ingredients:

1/2 large onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 small carrots, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 red pepper, chopped
4 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes*
5 cups frozen corn
2 bay leaves
4 cups cubed potatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Knox vegetable stock
 

2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk

 * I used sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

In a large pot, saute onions in the olive oil adding a splash of water. Add salt and stir in the sliced carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes then pour over about 2 quarts of water.  Add peppers,  sun-dried tomatoes, corn and bay leaves and cook for 5 -7 minutes, then add cubed potatoes, paprika, garlic powder, and the Knox vegetable stock.  Let it cook on low until  potatoes are cooked.

In a small bowl, mix together, cornstarch , cream and milk  until smooth and pour into the boiling soup. Let it come to a boil for 2 more minutes.


TIP: For a spicy version, add chopped jalapeno while cooking or serve it with a dash of cayenne pepper.

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