Monday, March 10, 2014

Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder with Cornbread Muffins

Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder with Cornbread Muffins

Soup season is not over yet!  I've been craving this soup for at least a week it's about time I made it!  I was inspired by a soup we ate at a great restaurant in Park City, Utah.  I love using fresh corn in this recipe in the summertime, but you can use frozen corn all year long, just as easily.  I added the sweet potatoes on a whim and ended up loving the combination of colors and flavors!  This recipe is so easy, fresh and delicious!  For variation, sauté some lump crab meat in butter and stir it in just before serving.  Serves six.

¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small 1/2 inch cubes
2 red, orange or green bell peppers, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
handful fresh sage, rosemary, thyme and basil chopped or substitute some dried
1 ¼ teaspoons fresh ground pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ears fresh corn, corn cut off cob or 1 lb. frozen corn
5 teaspoons chicken or vegetable bouillon
4 cups water
¼ cup butter
5 tablespoons flour
½-1 cup half and half or heavy cream
1-2 cups white cheddar cheese, grated

Garnish with:
Crumbled bacon 
chopped avocado

In large pot, place olive oil and heat to a shimmer.   Add chopped onion, potatoes, red pepper, garlic, fresh and dried herbs and corn.  Sauté until onions are soft, maybe 10-20 minutes.  Add chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Melt butter and stir in flour.  Add to chowder and stir until smooth.  Simmer a few minutes until chowder thickens.  Add half and half.  Turn heat to low and stir in cheese.  Season with a little salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. Thin soup as needed with a little milk or chicken broth. Garnish with crumbled bacon and/or fresh chopped avocado.  Serve hot with Cornbread Muffins.

                             Cornbread Muffins                                

2/3 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tin. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Add oil and milk and stir until just combined. Spoon into well greased muffin tins and fill almost to the top.  Sprinkle a little grated cheese and/or chopped green peppers (canned is fine), if desired on top.  Bake for 18 minutes. Carefully turn tin over and remove muffins immediately. Serve hot with Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder.

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