Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Corn Chowder and Potato soup

Its getting real cold out here. Winter, it seems, is not going to go out without a fight. And what a fight it is! The wind rattles my window panes, makes my piddly heaters ineffective and when I do dare to step out, knocks my breath out. Tis the perfect season for soup, coffee and masala chai. Here are my recipes for corn chowder and potato soup which are sure to warm your innards and chase the winter chill away.

Corn chowder

1 & 1/2 cup frozen corn(duh)
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1 small white onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced carrot
2-3 stalks of celery
1 cup grated raw potato
salt-pepper-chilli flakes to taste
3 cups water/ stock
to garnish
some flatleaf parsley

This soup is super easy and has a delicate flavor. First, melt the butter in the pan. And please do use real butter as opposed to to any low fat substitute or olive oil. The buttery flavor weaves through the soup and gives it a richness that you won't get with the alternatives. Plus, you are using low fat milk. Ok then, butter melted, throw in the flour and cook it till it looks...well, cooked. Take your time or the soup will taste chalky. Next saute the onion, celery and green pepper. Once that is done, you can put in your raw potato and saute that for a minute before adding the milk and water/stock. The pototo will cook and make the soup thick so be generous with your water/stock. Add salt-pepper-chilli flakes and garnish with parsley.

Potato- Cheese soup

A friend of mine was crazy about the potato soup she had somewhere and was looking for a recipe. I loved the idea and thought it would be easy to make. So I experimented a bit and since anything potato tastes good, I didn't have to experiment more.

2-3 medium potatoes
1 small onion
1 clove
2-3 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup low fat milk
2-3 cups of stock/water
a handful of shredded cheese
sakt-pepper to taste

Stick the peeled potatoes and onion with some salt in the pressure cooker and cook them till soft. add the milk and blend together till smooth. In another pan take some butter/ oil and add the clove, pepper and bay leaf. Pour in the blended potato-onion mixture and water. Add the cheese, salt and pepper. Garnish with some more cheese and stick it in the oven till cheese melts and forms a crust on top. Serve with some garlic bread. Its a bowlful of potato heaven.
I love Amul cheese but since I don't get that here, I think Kraft also works. If you want a sharp taste you could use Cheddar. A mixture of Cheddar-Mozarella is also yummy. I tried Parmersan and despite my love for this cheese, it doesn't work in this soup. I also tried caramelizing the onions instead of cooking them with the potatoes but it added a level of sweetness that I didn't care for. If you like a little sweet in the background, then slice the onion, mix it with some oil and salt and put it in the oven till it turns brown. Then blend it.


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