Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot soup on a cold night

I have been on a soup kick this winter. Usually, when I think of soup, I think of lots of chopping, a LONG cooking time, and feeling hungry after I've eaten. This winter I've fallen in love with hearty, warm soups like chili, black bean soup, vegetable noodle soup, and tonight's corn chowder.

I've been spending a lot of time with the cookbook "Cooking for Isaiah" by Silvana Nardone this month. Mostly because it has accessible recipes that don't require special trips to the store or spending all night in the kitchen. Tonight I made the corn chowder from the book. I made a few tweaks, but that's another thing I love about soups. The recipe provides the base, and the rest is improvisation. I doubled the recipe so we'd have plenty of leftovers, added a clove of garlic and some smoked paprika, and used frozen corn.

One of the main draws of this recipe is the fact that it is dairy free, and doesn't use any soy or fake-dairy substitutes. The soup gets it's creaminess from white beans and potatoes. The beans also add fiber and protein to make this soup healthier than a traditional chowder. I don't have a problem with digesting dairy, but I do have the tendency to treat sour cream as a side dish, and I add cheese to everything. I love dairy, but I also know that I probably shouldn't eat as much as I do. I considered adding sour cream and cheese to the top of this soup... until I tasted it. It was perfection without the added fat and calories. I'll save those calories for dessert.

The other draw of this recipe is that it was fast. And easy! I had time to come home from work, throw together the soup, leave Ben to watch it simmer, go to yoga, and come home to delicious, creamy corn chowder. Not bad for a Monday night!

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