Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Yummiest Late Summer Vegan Corn Chowder EVER.

Okay...I'm really pleased with this one. This is something that everyone will love...carnivore or herbivore. You know how when people are ill they are always told to eat chicken noodle soup? Well I've never eaten chicken noodle soup...but I think this soup would have exactly the same benefits.

About a year ago, upon the arrival of Sylvie, Moms' at the fabulous school I used to teach at, signed up to bring me 6 weeks worth of dinner every Wednesday. This was the BEST baby gift ever. Seriously, if someone in your neighborhood or community is having a baby, as far as I'm concerned skip the balloons and flowers, good, healthy food is the best gift you can give. When you are sleep deprived, and nursing, and have no time to do is a god-send.

This dish was prepared for me by a friend, I fell in love with it and HAD to have the recipe. Well it's been a busy year, and I've finally made this soup. It won't be the last time.

Macro Food Fact: In Macrobiotic cooking, locally grown, seasonal vegetables are important because they help you adapt to your surroundings by subtly connecting you to the rhythm of the seasons. Corn is a highly recommended grain for summer. More expansive vegetables such as leaf lettuce, corn on the cob, green beans, cucumber, and summer squash, have a high water content that enables them to thrive in the heat. We stay cool by emphasizing these foods in our summer diet.

Late Summer Vegan Corn Chowder

Adapted from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

I close to doubled this recipe and made enough for about 6-8 servings. I recommend making lots and lots...

You will need:

1 medium potato with the skin on and diced into small chunks
2 1/2 cups of water. (I ended up adding more as it boiled down, so use your intuition)
1 tablespoon earth balance
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 medium stalk celery, finely minced
1 small red bell pepper, finely minced
5 cups (approximately 4 to 5 cobs' worth) fresh sweet corn or a 1lb of frozen sweet corn. Buy corn Organic! ( I did the frozen option this time as Sylvie was on my back with a fever during this cooking process and I had limited time-it was still fabulous)
pepper to taste
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or more, to taste). I used green and purple ruffle basil. This made it extra pretty.
1 cup unsweetened soy milk

Okay now that you are dreamily humming Simon and Garfunkel while you cook...Oh wait you are probably not as nerdy as I am. "Are you going to Scarborough fair, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!" I was just seriously excited about cooking with a new herb. I've never ever cooked with thyme before. it's absolutely lovely, reminiscent of an English garden, and it makes this dish what it is...

Place the potatoes and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium sized pot. Add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add celery. Five minutes later add this mixture to the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red bell pepper, the corn, and a few shakes of white pepper. Stir well, cover, and reduce heat. Cook on low for about 5 minutes longer.
Using a blender or food processor, puree about half the soup in some of its own liquid. Return this to the pot, and let it rest until serving time.
Stir in the soy milk about 10 minutes before serving time. Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it--gently!-- until it's hot enough to eat. Serve immediately. Garnish with basil, and more seasoning if necessary.

I think this would make a meal with some sourdough rolls and a simple green salad!

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