November 01, 2011

Soup's On!

While the cooler temperatures are not my cup of tea, the food that comes with them is.  I love soups, stews, braises, roasted dinners, etc.
It is comforting, stick to your ribs kind of food and when the weather is chilly that's exactly what I want.  Gone are the days of salad for dinner...

One of the benefits of  this type of cooking is that you have leftovers.  This for me is key because along with this time of the year comes my hectic work schedule and being able to come home and heat something up instead of trying to figure out what I'm going to cook is a life-saver.

This particular meal comes together in no time at all as long as all of your prep is done ahead of time.
When I have a few extra minutes, I make sure all of my ingredients are ready to go so that the actual cooking part is a snap.  This is perfect for a weeknight meal when energy is not in abundance.

This recipe uses leeks and if you have never worked with them before, this is how to handle them:
- use only the white and light green parts
- split in half lengthwise and rinse VERY well, there is sand between the layers that needs to be removed.

Potato Corn Chowder with Leeks & Bacon
  • 1 cup bacon, cooked and diced (reserve 1 tbsp bacon fat)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups diced leeks
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 small yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk *
  1. Heat the bacon fat and butter in a stock pot and add leeks.  Cook until soft.  Like onions, leeks will cook down quite a bit. 
  2. Add flour to make a roux.  Let this cook out for a few minutes until it starts to turn a golden blond color.
  3. Add chicken stock and water, whisk to combine.
  4. Add potatoes, corn, garlic and pepper.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked through, remove garlic clove.
  6. Add bacon and simmer an additional 5 - 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add milk.  *if you are a size 6 or less, please substitute heavy cream for milk.  
  8. Garnish with fresh herbs.

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