Friday, February 13, 2009

Phatveggie is back in the Kitchen

During a cold winter day, there is nothing better than a soup and panini. Today we had our new favorite soup. It is a mix of potato soup, butternut squash soup and corn chowder. It is called "New World Corn Chowder" from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread cookbook by my favorite Crescent Dragonwagon. Here is the recipe:

New World Corn Chowder
2 quarts vegetable stock
4 fist-sized all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn kernels (although fresh is better)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Pickapeppa or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
3 ribs celery with leaves, finely diced
1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and put through a garlic press or finely chopped
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 Morga vegetarian bouillon cube
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
Crumbed corn tortilla chips, sour cream or plain yogurt; salsa; and/or fresh cilantro sprigs; or green chili and red pepper purees for garnish

1) In a large heavy soup pot, bring the stock to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and add the potatoes. Let simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and continue to simmer until both the squash and potatoes are barely tender, about 8 minutes more. Stir in the corn, honey, and Pickapeppa. Turn down the heat to very low and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skilled, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and celery with leaves and saute 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, and garlic over the vegetables. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring another minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring to smooth the lumps, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer about one-third of this mixture to a food processor and set the remaining mixture aside.

3) Transfer about half the potatoes and squash from the soup pot to the food processor. I prefer using hand mixer stick in the pot and then I don't have to dirty more dishes. Add the cream and puree. If using the processor, stir the puree back into the soup in the pot and add the remaining sauteed vegetables. Add the bouillon cube, salt, plenty of black pepper, the jalapeno and the jalapeno juice.

4) Heat the soup over medium-low heat until very hot, stirring frequently. Do not allow it to boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into soup bowls and add your choice of garnish.

Serves 6 to 8 as a generous entree

This was a big hit when we had it for Christmas Eve this year. Enjoy!

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