Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Potato-Leek Chowder

Cool fall nights are here in NYC, so I'm thinking of soup recipes that segueway into the new season's produce - potatoes and leeks being two great examples. Try this hearty soup alongside the Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Sandwiches from last night.

But before I begin, let me talk for a moment about cream-style corn, one of the ingredients called for in this recipe. "Cream-style" corn, I learned, does not involve cream at all, and is thus technically vegan. However, the only canned version I found was not organic, and I didn't trust the high sugar content of it either. If that's vegan enough for you, go right ahead! If you prefer, however, here's an easy way to make your own at home: Drain a 15-oz can of regular corn kernals. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, and add the drained corn, along with a teaspoon and a hald of cornstarch. Return briefly to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for five minutes. Chill in an ice bath (place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water). This method makes double the mount of cream-style corn that you'll need for the soup recipe below - about 3/4 cup. Save the other 3/4 cup for another use, or simply heat and serve.

Now onto the soup!

In a saucepan, heat a teaspoon and a half of olive oil over medium heat. Add a cup and a half finely chopped leek, and cook for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to brown (I took mine off the heat after only about ten, so eyeball this step carefully). Set aside.

Combine 2 and a half cups vegetable broth, a cup and a half cubed, peeled yukon gold potato, and a cup and a half of cauliflower florets in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Let cool for about ten minutes before stirring in 1/2 a cup plain soy milk. Process in a blender until smooth (do this in two batches if needed).

Return to the saucepan and add the leeks from earlier, along with 3/4 cup cream-style corn (canned or your own home-made), a dash of salt and a dash of black pepper. Cook for five minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

In a small saucepan, cook 2 strips of vegan bacon (such as Smart Bacon) according to package directions. Crumble into little pieces. Ladle 1 and 2/3 cup of soup into each of three bowls, and top each serving with two tablespoons of the 'bacon' pieces. Each bowl is 230 calories.

leek $2.30
vegetable broth $3.79
yukon gold potato $1.47
cauliflower $5.81
plain soy milk $1.69
canned corn $1.99
vegan bacon $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html