Cauliflower and Corn Chowder
Autumn is in full swing and the parks and paths are scattered with fallen leaves which make Little Boy Green very happy. He is just starting to get a grasp on time and how nature is affected by the seasons. “The trees are shedding their leaves so that the trees can sleep through the winter, daddy, did you know that?” Equally interesting is how the different tree leaves, although green to start with, turn brown, red, orange or yellow, some differences of hue more subtle than others, and all a wonder to behold, and shovel, and jump on, and stomp and carefully lift with the hope of catching a worm or two. Mrs Green, having carefully cultivated the ritual of wading through every pile of leaves to get the rustle, is now reaping the rewards. Sometimes, on a weekend, the two fall behind on a walk to the park and when I turn, they are both doing a peculiar little dance making sure all of the leaves have been rustled. I fear the park wardens may appreciate the joy less than I do, but the singular focus both show in tearing through the leaves is impressive.
The days are getting shorter which is more noticeable in the early morning than in the evenings, especially as we are early risers, but we feel the effects of the seasons and how they affect our temperaments and appetites. Our weekly veg bag is also testament to the changing of the season. The tomatoes are coming to an end as are the peppers and zucchini, but the brassicas are making a great showing together with the great variety of squashes that we have been enjoying. Sweetcorn on the cob, always a welcoming treat, will soon be out of season, which is why we were keen to try this dish before resorting to frozen bags of corn for the months to come.
Today we are serving the chowder in a roasted pumpkin (kuri squash) which adds a little more earthiness and sweetness to the soup. But I am also keen to serve it in a bread bowl or in individual buns for the boys as a nod to a chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl, which I fondly remember having in my San Francisco days.
If serving in a squash/pumpkin, then slice the head off and scoop out the fibers and seeds with a metal spoon. Rub the inside with olive oil, salt and pepper and then bake in a preheated oven @200C for 20 to 30 min depending on size of the squash. It will be ready once the skin has begun to char.
- 1 X small head of cauliflower, or 1/2 large head
- 500g of frozen sweet corn, to be cooked from frozen (aprox cups or 4-5 ears of fresh ears of corn)
- 1 X stick of celery
- 1 X large leek or onion, (trim off most of the top green part of leek)
- 1 X medium carrot
- 1 X large garlic clove
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup (250ml) of plant based milk (we use soya milk)
- 6 cups (1.5 litre) veg broth (we use bouillon and water)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely dice the celery, leek, carrot and garlic and place in a heavy based pot and gently sautee with the garlic in the olive oil.
- When the vegetables soften add the flour and and stir continuously for a minute or two so that the mixture begins to thicken and then pour in the milk and stir until the flour has been absorbed.
- Add the veg broth and corn and bring to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, finely chop the cauliflower and then add to the pot.
- Bring the pot to a gentle boil on medium heat, cover and simmer for 20 min.
- Partially blend the chowder with an immersion blender if you prefer a thicker consistency.
- Season and serve.