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Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder


4 oz smoked bacon, diced
2 leeks, white and pale green part only, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 TBL butter
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups fresh, conned or frozen sweet corn
6 TBL dry white wine
3 TBL dry sherry
3 TBL fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 TBL fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
5 cups beef broth or stock
4 TBL heavy cream

Saute the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until it turns brown and has realsed its fat, about 5 minutes.

Add the leeks, shallots, celery, and butter. Saute gently for 5-10 minutes, reducing the heat if the leeks and shallots threaten to brown.

Add the bay leaf, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn.  Stir well. Cook for 5-10 minutes, sitrring frequently.

Pour in the wine and sherry.  Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced, 3-5 minutes.  Add the parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne, and broth.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Partially cover and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork but still hold their shape, about 1 hour.

Stir in the cream.  Taste for salt and seasoning.  Remove the bay leaf.  Serve hot with a sprinkly of parsley on top.

Serves: 6-8

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