Sometimes you just need comfort food. God knows I do. So what do you do when you need a food hug and it’s 84 degrees outside?! You make a soup that is comforting, full of flavor and still light at the same time. This is my take on a fall/winter classic–the always comforting potato corn soup. But instead of using cow’s milk, which can make a chowder heavy, I opted for a good quality light coconut milk, like the kind they sell at Trader Joe’s. And instead of using all white or red potatoes, I liked the idea of a pot full of bite sized sweet potatoes. Because I just adore fresh veggies and was cooking for an 8 year old and my diabetic father (who also has heart and cholesterol issues) I added what fresh veggies I had on hand–a few carrots to kick the beta carotene quotient up another notch. I also added one russet potato (for texture) and some rough chopped beet greens at the tail end of the cooking process because I had them on hand and because beet greens go well with everything. I like my sweet corn at the milky (I could eat this raw) stage, so I didn’t roast the corn. You can if you want, but I think the fresh taste of the fresh corn straight off the cob contributes to its light and fresh appeal. This was a bit of a social experiment, mind you, so I wasn’t exactly sure how everything would play out. I’m happy to report this delicately creamy chowder hit every spot and note I wanted it to. Hon-tee. I was also impressed that the coconut milk wasn’t at all overpowering to the other flavors included in this dish, plus added a Thai vibe to it which I’m still swooning over. All the colors and flavors blended so well, I’m eating a bowl of it for breakfast–as I type this…
If you’re looking for a light and flavorful summer soup that gives you a hug as you’re eating it AND won’t make you feel like a stuffed pepper once you’ve finished a bowl or two–this is the soup for you!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can sub a good quality coconut oil or vegan butter)
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced (I used a La Rouge pepper)
- 1 can + 1/4 cup light coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups sweet corn kernels (I scraped the corn from two fresh corn cobs)
- 1 big sweet potato, cubed
- 2 carrots, rough chopped to bite sized pieces
- 1 Russet or other “white” potato, cut into bigger bite sized pieces
- a handful of beet greens, swiss chard or other “sturdy” but delicate or sweet flavored green)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons “Emeril/Envy’s Essence” Creole Seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare Emeril/Envy’s Essence and set aside…
- Melt butter (or butter alternative) in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks (check out vid below this recipe on how to prepare leeks–I needed it) and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in vegetable broth, corn kernels, potatoes and carrots Emeril’s Essence, thyme and salt.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add the handful of greens for just before soup is done so they are not over-cooked. A few minutes before serving is all it takes really.
- NOTE: I like my chowder a bit thicker but not too thick, so I played around with the consistency throughout the cooking process. If you see your soup is on the thin side once all the veggies are in, in a separate bowl combine some more coconut milk and flour and stir well until combined. Add a bit of the soup broth to bring the mixture up to temp and then add to the soup to avoid clumps. K? You can keep doing this until the soup reaches your perfect consistency, but be mindful that the soup will thicken as it cooks. If you like a thinner soup, just add more broth or coconut milk, but be mindful that the more liquid you’re working with, the more physical soup you’ll have. The good news is that this soup tastes even better the next day and you can freeze it for later. Also, I kept testing the flavors and added more Essence, Thyme and sea salt to taste.
FOR EMERIL/ENVY’S ESSENCE CREOLE SEASONING
1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon black pepper
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until incorporated!
NOTE: Put this gorgeous spice mix in an old/empty spice container you may have laying around (I save everything) and make sure you label it so you can use it for other stuff!
HOW TO CLEAN and CUT LEEKS:
How’d your soup go?! Don’t you just love it? Tell me all about it in the comments below!!!