Potato, Corn & Cheese Chowder
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
Boil diced potatoes in water with bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon salt until barely tender. While potatoes are cooking, saute onions in oil over medium-low heat until tender and nearly transparent (add a few tablespoons of water if onions begin to stick). Add flour to sauteed onions and mix thoroughly. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Pour this mixture slowly into the cooked potatoes and their water, along with the corn kernels. Add cumin, chives, parsley, nutmeg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer over very low heat for about 15 minutes. Add in the grated cheese and stir until completely melted. If chowder seems too thick, thin with milk or water. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Source: Nancy O'Conner, of, Community Mercantile Co-op.
Roasted Winter Squash Bisque
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 to 3 pounds winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, etc.)
1 head of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil or unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons sage or rosemary
1 1/2 to 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
salt, pepper, nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and the honey in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and mixture is homogenous. Set aside. Halve the winter squash. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper, and brush with the butter-and-honey mixture. Drizzle any extra into the cavities of the squash. Slice the top off the head of garlic. Place garlic on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle the cut surface with a bit of olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic and twist to form a sealed packet. Place the squash and garlic in the oven. Roast until the squash is tender and the garlic is soft -- about 40 minutes. Heat the butter or olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sage or rosemary. Sweat until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add 6 cups of stock. Scoop the flesh from the squash and squeeze the roasted garlic, adding both to the stock pot. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Puree the soup, adding more stock if too thick. If a richer soup is desired, add the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve hot.
Source: Paige Vandegrift, private chef, Kansas City, Mo.