Hearty Corn, Chile, and Potato Soup


2 tablespoons butter

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups diced potatoes

1 14 3/4-ounce can cream-style corn

1 11-ounce can whole-kernel corn, undrained

1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 teaspoon paprika

1 bay leaf

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

2 tablespoons flour

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add water, potatoes, corn, chiles, bouillon, paprika, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir a small amount of evaporated milk into flour in small bowl to make smooth paste; gradually stir in remaining milk. Stir milk mixture into soup. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup comes to a boil and thickens lightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 8 servings

Source: Maggi Bouillon/Nestle

2 to 3 slices bacon, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup roughly chopped celery

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 cup flour

2 quarts chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

Salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce to taste

Creme fraiche or sour cream

Thyme sprigs

Saute bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and set aside. To bacon drippings, add onion, carrot, celery, shallot, garlic, apples, and sweet potatoes. Saute 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil, oregano, thyme, and flour. Stir until flour is well mixed and moistened throughout.

Add chicken stock and stir occasionally until soup comes to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer until all ingredients are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor, blender, or food mill. Return to soup pot, stir in heavy cream, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Keep over very low heat, but do not boil.

To serve, pour soup in bowls and garnish tops with creme fraiche or sour cream, reserved bacon, and thyme sprigs.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

5 links fresh bratwurst

16 cups beef or pork broth

2 tablespoons garlic, crushed

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium carrots, coin-sliced

2 celery stalks, cut into chunks

1 medium parsnip, cubed

1 medium turnip, diced

1 medium rutabaga, julienne-cut

1/4 medium head cabbage, cut in chunks

1 small acorn squash, peeled, cleaned, and cubed

1 cup corn kernels

2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced

1 cup green beans, French cut

4 ounces quick-cook dry barley

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bratwurst according to package directions; slice into 1-inch pieces and set aside. In a large stockpot, bring broth to a boil. Add all ingredients, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and barley is cooked.

Yield: 16 servings

Source: Johnsonville Sausage