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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vegetarian Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

Every week we get a lovely, fresh, frothy half-gallon of farm fresh milk from a local farm. And then, the race is on. We don't have a refrigerator, so I buy a fresh bag of ice every day until the milk is gone. But even so, sometimes it isn't "getting gone" quite fast enough. I don't want to waste something so precious. No spoiled milk down the drain here. So, when I realized our milk was on its last legs--with a fair amount left--I went looking for a chowder recipe.

It had to be simple. It had to be child-friendly. And it had to have LOTS of milk. I found it, by blending two different recipes together.

Vegetarian Corn & Sweet Potato Chowder

Serves 4
You will need...

1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 celery stalk, chopped (optional, I didn't have so didn't use)
16 oz. sweet corn (can be fresh, frozen or canned. just don't buy "cheap corn" as it is tough.)
1 large bay leaf or 2 small
4 cups milk, whole or low fat
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped (I only had a green pepper, so used that instead)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or substitute 1 tsp dried thyme)

What to do...

1) In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.

2) Add the milk and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer. Be sure heat is low enough to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

3) Discard the bay leaf. Raise the heat, add the potatoes, red/green pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender.

4) Raise the heat, add the corn kernels and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

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