CSA Week 10 - Corn and Potato Chowder

I might have done it.  I might have found a recipe that everyone in our family can eat.  We have one vegetarian, one pescatarian, one who is lactose intolerant, one who is gluten free, and one low-carb (ideally gluten free though).  And of course, we all have our own taste preferences on top of it!  Oh, and an allergy against garlic, and I have several others, but none seem to be life-threatening, haha.
My mom is a trooper and regularly makes a million different things and hopes we all pick and choose to make our dinner our own.  Taco night is a family favorite, since it's already set up to be a "choose-your-own-adventure" meal with many bowls of toppings, and it's pretty easy to make a taco salad, or big burrito, or nachos if you really wanted.  It feeds a crowd and no one feels left out.  But when we're together for more than a day or two, we need something other than tacos!
I made a creamy and delicious soup, but with no dairy in sight.  It's hearty and filling, but has no meat to bulk it up.  And none of these ingredients are super weird or processed to imitate anything that's missing (I'm looking at you, fake cheese!).  We just have a bunch of vegetables, some broth, and a trusty immersion blender.
Now, I'm not against any of those things I left out of the soup- as you can see, I added feta and bacon as a garnish, but trust me when I say you don't need these things to have a wonderful meal.  It just makes things a little more special, and you get to feel like you customized your bowl of deliciousness without making my mom crazy.
I have made this for myself (and had amazing leftovers for lunch at work), and already made this for Patti, Ed, Cole and Wes.  Cole didn't touch it, but everyone else loved it :-)  I even let Patti style the shoot when I was at their house.  She went with Legos.
Corn and Potato Chowder
serves 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 large waxy potatoes, skins left on, large diced (I love yukon gold, but red potatoes will work too)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (can be omitted, if needed)
  • 8 cups broth- veggie or chicken both work
  • 5 ears corn, cooked and kernels removed from husk (or sub 1 can of corn, drained)
  • 6 leaves swiss chard, stems removed and torn into smaller pieces (kale or other hearty green will work)
  • Optional garnish: crispy bacon or prosciutto, crumbled feta cheese, sliced green onions
Add the olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven heated over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and the onions are softening.  Add the potatoes, and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Stir for 3-4 minutes, while the potatoes develop some color but we're not cooking them through; if they start to burn, turn the heat back down to medium.  Add the broth and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes depending on your dice size (pierce one with a fork, and if it easily goes through, move on to the next step!).

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup!  I like to leave some nice chunks of potato, so I only blend it about halfway smooth, but if you want a silky smooth soup, feel free to keep going.  Add the corn and torn swiss chard leaves and let simmer for 2-3 minutes while the flavors meld.

Ladle into individual bowls and top with optional garnish

This soup freezes well in a sealed container for up to 4 months.
Enjoy!

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