This week, we got new golden potatoes, corn and leeks in our Bountiful Baskets! So I decided, since it was raining on Tuesday, to make a potato leek chowder for dinner.
We roasted the corn on the grill and removed it from the cobs on Saturday. Then it was put into the freezer in 2-cup servings to use later. So for this recipe, I just pulled out and defrosted the amount I needed.
Here’s my setup for the vegetables.
Large stock pot
Large vegetable steamer
10 medium potatoes
1 medium onion
4 stalks of celery, including inner leaves
1 red bell pepper
1⁄2 pound baby bellas
1-3 cloves of garlic, depending on taste
2 cups of roasted corn (not show in setup picture)
1 quart of milk (I used rice milk for this)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-1⁄2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon Mrs Dash Table Blend
1⁄2 teaspoon ground rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Clean all the vegetables. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse again to make sure there is no dirt hiding in the middle.
Dice the potatoes and put them in the steamer to begin cooking.
Chop the onion and mushrooms.
Mince the garlic.
Use a grater to shred the carrots.
Slice the leeks and celery into fine slices.
Dice the red pepper and set it aside along with the corn and milk. You won’t need these for a bit. Storing them in the refrigerator is fine.
Heat the oil in the stock pot over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the onions, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery and leeks.
Stir to coat with the oil. You are going to sweat these vegetables over medium, or medium low heat until they are soft. You’re not trying to fry them, just cook them through. I usually turn the heat down a bit and cover them for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they look like this.
Add all of the seasonings, except the parsley, to the pot about half way through.
The potatoes should be much softer at this point, although not quite cooked through. Add them to the pot and mix well.
Add 1 quart of water, or more, so the level is just below the top.
Simmer for 1 hour, or until you can crush the potatoes with a fork. Stir occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing burns. If it gets too dry, add a little more water.
Use a potato masher to coarsely mash the mixture.
Add the milk, parsley, corn and red bell pepper. Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often to keep the milk from scorching. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
Yield: 15 cups
This makes a lot of soup, but it will freeze well. You can cut the recipe in half if you wish.
You can precook the potatoes in the microwave if you wish.
You can make this without any milk at all, using all water. It will work just fine.
A half recipe should fit into a large crock pot. If I start it first thing in the morning, it works fine. I put all the vegetables, potatoes and seasonings in the pot. about 1⁄2 hour before dinner, all I need to add is milk, if I’m using any and just cook until the milk is hot.
This is a great soup for rainy days. It’s a good comfort food that warms you inside and out. And the kitchen smells fabulous while it’s cooking! Everyone really liked it, and went for seconds! Here’s the final results.