After enjoying a pleasant 'coldest' day ever in India at about 18.3C, I got back to a -25C weather here. Which is still not the coldest day ever this season, it was -32C the day I was leaving! It has been snowing every day since and the snow is piling on n on n on. We had 12 inches of snow in the last 24hrs. A -5C or 0C feels warm these days. If nothing else, living in this place is surely giving me a thick skin!
My sleep routine settled in perfectly despite the change in time zones, but its my cooking that suffered a jet lag. I got back on a Monday night and the next day I made aloo parathas and tomato-onion fry for dinner! I haven't made paratha's in ages...I've wanted too, but was always too lazy. And there I was in the kitchen making fresh parathas, and a side dish too! My brother was shocked when I told him that, he was buying sandwiches and hadn't even stocked his kitchen yet. It had to be a jetlag of sorts :) And oh, if you are wondering why I did not unpack instead, you see my luggage never travels with me, it has its own itinerary. It took almost 3 days for me to get them, but I am glad they made it to me unlike the last time, huh! So well, after that first few days of passionate cooking, the routine kicked in and I've totally lost my appetite. I still crave the food my mom made..., I wish I could be on vacation at home for ever :P
So with the dreary weather outside, and a craving for warm food, combined with immense laziness, soups have been the
Vegetable Corn ChowderIngredients:
- 11/2 cups - Sweet corn kernels
- 1 cup - Potatoes, scrubbed well & cubed
- 1/2 cup - Carrots, peeled & diced
- 1/2 cup - Onions, diced
- 1/2 cup -Bell pepper, diced (red, green or yellow)
- 8-10 - Broccoli florets (optional)
- 3/4 tsp - Garlic, minced
- A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 11/2 Tbsp - All purpose flour
- 2 cups - Milk, I used reduced fat.
- 1 cup - Vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 Tbsp each - Butter & olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat olive oil/butter in a deep sauce pan. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, carrots, bell pepper and cubed potatoes. Cook on medium heat and allow the vegetables to soften a bit, ~4-5mins.
- Warm the milk in another pan or in the microwave. Sprinkle the flour evenly on the vegetables and stir, I used a tea filter to dust the flour. Stir well for 1-2 mins to cook away the rawness in the flour.
- Gradually add the milk & stock to the vegetables, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Add the corn (and broccoli). Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20mins or until the vegetables are tender. If you think its too thick, add some warm milk or stock.
- Season the soup with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir-in some cheese at this point, if using. Serve warm with a light garnish of cilantro or parsley and some cracked pepper on top.
And thats' comfort served in a bowl, ready for you to wrap your hands around and sink into that couch. This felt like a rich and creamy indulgence with soft potatoes that melt in your mouth and the juicy sweet corn dotting it. I retained the skin on the potatoes since I like them that way. I was also using baby fingerling potatoes which are really easy to clean. The only heat in the soup is from the black pepper, all the rest just add up to the creamy goodness. I found the flour to do a really good job with thickening the soup and making it creamy. Using reduced fat milk did not hurt the consistency much. May be if I used whole milk or cream it would have been much more richer, but I surely did not miss it a bit with this recipe; reduced fat works just fine. So go ahead, make yourself a huge pot of it and disappear into your couch :) Here are more options!