What could be better than a bowl chowder to welcome fall? Though I'm not quite ready to admit that summer is over as yet (I'm still hitting the farmers' markets seeking out summer vegetables!), nothing quite like a chunky corn'n'leek chowder to embrace autumn!
Seriously, this is one of my best soup recipes *ever*. I pored over my Soups book hoping to find the perfect chowder recipe that I could use with the leeks and tomato from my veggie patch. Hmm ... couldn't quite find the right recipe, so I morphed several ideas together and came up with this:
6 leeks (small)
corn kernels scraped off from 2 ears of shucked corn
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 green bell pepper - finely chopped
1 medium ripe tomato - peeled and chopped
3-4 thai chillies - sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup of nonfat milk
Chop off the greens from the leeks and cooked them for 3-4 minutes in 1/2 cup of water. Once wilted, puree these along with the tomato pieces and half of the corn kernels. Chop the rest of the leeks and saute in 1/4 T of butter - I've noticed that just a teeny bit of butter brings out the smell and flavor of leeks so much better than oil! Throw in the garlic, thai chillies, bell pepper and the rest of the corn. Cook for about 4-5 minutes before adding the leek-tomato-corn puree. Cook covered on low for about 10 minutes after seasoning with salt. Finally, simmer the chowder for 1-2 minutes after throwing in about 1/3 cup of milk.
Hmm ... seasoning? Snipped chives from my veggie patch :) And a few gratings of oaxacan skim cheese. *wow*! Seriously, this was the perfect way to welcome fall! The chowder was warm and comforting, yet had a zing to it courtesy of the thai chillies!