Monday, March 21, 2011

Soupy Sunday: Vegetable and Herb Chowder

This week, as Kurt browsed the soup bible, his heart settled on Vegetable and Herb Chowder, starring, mainly potatoes, red peppers (though the recipe called for yellow) green beans (which the bible called runner beans) and leeks, glorious leeks! My favorite part of preparing soups is, hands down, the softening of the leeks. I love the way my food processor slices them into perfect little ringlets and, even more, I love the way look in the bottom of a pan, sliding around in melted butter. Because I doubled this recipe, there is an unusually large amount of leek in this picture, but it still represents the image I love so much (here, combined with onion, celery, and red pepper).

I also love a recipe that calls for fresh herbs, and this one required two: parsley and thyme. Chopping herbs is delightful, and so is seeing them in the refrigerator every time I open it for the following week!

At the end of cooking, a little milk is supposed to be added, but I had some heavy whipping cream left over from last week's soup and I have very few uses for it otherwise, so I added that instead. It was either the heavy cream or fat free milk, and what flavor does fat free milk add to anything...none. Of course, this changed the appearance of the final product from a clear, yellowy broth to a rich, white broth. I hate white sauces on pasta, but this tasted nothing like that. It was hearty and beautiful, but there was not taste of milk/cream at all. It was perfect.

A little salt and cracked black pepper (does anyone even use ground pepper anymore?!), some parsley on top for good measure, and voila! Fabulous, fabulous soup!

Vegetable and Herb Chowder: A+

PS - Want to know what I was listening to while I prepared this amazing dish? Between Rachmaninoff's Concerto #2 and Paradisi's most famous toccata, I indulged in a few plays of The Gummy Bear song!

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