April 20, 2010
We now interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this chowder. By regularly scheduled program I mean India blog posts. I know, and just when I promised some actual food from India! Thank you for your patience, I will make good on my promise in the next couple of days.
No need to adjust your screen, you are actually seeing chowder in late April. Before you click away in hopes to find a more springtime-appropriate meal, stick with me and give this a chance. This is a very light chowder, and thanks to the roasted corn kernels and vegetarian chicken-flavored broth it has a rich buttery flavor without the presence of dairy at all. Rather than being made creamy by whole milk and flour, a touch of rice milk is stirred in at the end for a light creamy finish.
And how about the leeks? They might seem like they are behind the scenes, but they really are a headliner in this chowder. In fact, I built this recipe around the leeks. Tinned Tomatoes is hosting this month's No Croutons Required blogging event. The challenge this month is to create a soup or salad featuring veggies from the allium family (onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, etc.). I knew right away that I wanted to create a soup featuring leeks, so without any specific soup in mind I went out and picked up some. For nearly two weeks the leeks peeked out at me from the shelf in the fridge before I decided that chowder was their calling.
I am not the first person to put potatoes, corn, and leeks together in a creamy broth and call it chowder, although this might be the first vegan version out there. This is a great single pot meal that comes together in 30 minutes or less. I am fortunate enough to have access to frozen roasted corn at a local Trader Joe's, but if you don't have access plain frozen corn will do just fine.
Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder
2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved and sliced
3 ribs of celery
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups chopped potatoes (bite sized pieces), I used yukons
2 cups frozen roasted corn kernels
3 cups water
2 "Not-Chick'n" bouillon
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rubbed sage
1-1/2 tsp dried mustard
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
2 cups rice milk
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1 tbsp oil in large soup pot and stir in leeks. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and celery and saute for another 2 minutes. Mix in everything else except for the rice milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender--about 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, and stir in the rice milk, salt, and pepper, and serve.