2009 Herb of the Year: Potato Corn Chowder with Bay

| February/March 2009

  • Rick Wetherbee

Serves 8 to 10

This soup is relatively quick to prepare, and we like to make a lot so we have leftover soup for lunch or a cup before dinner later in the week. It is hearty enough to serve alone, especially when accompanied by homemade bread.

• 2 large celery ribs, diced
• 3 large leeks, white and tender green parts, sliced
• 4 large potatoes, peeled if desired, and diced
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1½ quarts vegetable or chicken stock
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
• 3 to 4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
• 4 ears corn, husked, or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
• 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
• 1⁄3 cup chopped parsley
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• Few pinches cayenne pepper
• About ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Add celery, leeks and potatoes to a soup pot and sweat them in the oil and butter over low heat for 10 minutes. Add stock, garlic and bay leaves. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes or so.

2. Remove kernels from fresh corn and add them to the soup, or add frozen corn kernels. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in half-and-half or milk and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

3. Heat soup over low until it just reaches serving temperature. To make a thicker soup, puree about a third of the soup and return it to the pot. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese. Serve in warmed soup bowls with extra Parmesan for passing.

Click here for the original article, 2009 Herb of the Year: Bay (Laurus Nobilis). 

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