I've always been a fan of leeks, though I detested cleaning them. Imagine my surprise when I found leeks already chopped and partially cleaned in tidy packages at my local Trader Joe's! Perfect! I can't get enough of this tasty vegetable. And when you combine them with garlic...delicious!
The star in this dish is obviously the corn, which you can use frozen or canned. But as summer approaches you might want to consider using fresh corn. Often times, I'll grill corn on the cob and shave the corn into a bowl. Though it's an extra step in the cooking process, it gives the chowder an extra bite of smoky flavor.
1 red onion
1 cup celery, chopped
1 glove garlic, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2-3 small red potatoes, diced (feel free to peel the skin, but I like to keep it)
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 pints half-and-half
16 oz. corn kernels (canned or frozen)
Sauté onion, celery, garlic, leek, and potatoes in butter until onions and potatoes are soft. Add flour and seasonings and cook for 1 minute, gradually adding broth. Stir until mixture thickens. Add corn and half-and-half. Simmer for twenty to thirty minutes.
Season with additional salt and pepper. Or top with shredded cheddar cheese