I am reposting this soup recipe for my friend Helen and her family who live in San Antonio. I originally wrote this while I was still spending most of my time at my home in Texas.
While Helen and her family were visiting us for a ski week, I made it for them and apparently, one of the kids has been requesting that his mum make it for him back home. It is one of my favorite soup recipes so I hope you all enjoy it and come back to visit soon!
There is a languid feel to life in Texas. Perhaps it is the heat that slows life down to a smooth drawl and a comfortable hum that I find so alluring.
Most of the time, it is just too hot to move quickly, but the winters in San Antonio are beautiful, laden with crisp mornings that beckons me to head out the door and breathe in the cool sunrise air.
One of my weekend morning rituals that was a staple in Santa Monica, seems to just be catching on in San Antonio – strolling the farmer’s market. There are many little roadside “markets” but only a few that I would call “destination” farmer’s markets. One of them, the Legacy Outdoor Market, is of my own making.
I love the whole concept of farmer’s markets and arts & crafts fairs. Meandering my way through a narrow promenade of pop-up canopies, stopping often to chat with vendors, farmers, artists and crafts people, running into neighbors or market regulars, it gives me the sense of community. Visually, I find these markets to be a soothing, yet vibrant canvas of color and smells. Tables and back-ends of pick-up trucks overflowing with freshly picked fruits and vegetables is a glorious sight…it’s a scene that inspires me to create in the kitchen and enjoy.
One weekend at the market, I picked up some roasted corn, potatoes and fresh herbs and made delicious Vichyssoise Corn Chowder. I made it without following a recipe, using what I had in my pantry and fridge, and ended up with the perfect simple evening meal.
Vichyssoise Corn Chowder
2 leeks, washed, sliced and diced, using white and the tender light green parts
3 large Yukon gold or russet potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leave
1 bouillon cube
3 cups water
1-2 cups milk
2 cups corn
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chives or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (I like herbs du Provence)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil or butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add potato, water, bay leaf and bouillon cube.
Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add the corn and heat through. Remove the bay leaf.
Using a blender or food processor, purée half of the soup until very smooth and then return the puree to the pan and the rest of the soup. Add enough milk to thin it to a consistence that you like and heat thoroughly.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraîche and herbed croutons.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup mild diced green chile peppers (roasted poblano or hatch are good) to the soup after it has been pureed.
Saute 4 slices thick cut bacon until crisp. Add drippings to the soup and top soup with the crisp bacon.
For clam corn chowder -after processing half of the soup and returning it to the pot, add 2 6 1/2 ounce cans of chopped clams and their juice to the soup and heat through.
Original posted on July 2011
Fresh From The Market ~ Vichyssoise Corn Chowder ~ by Eva Marie