Velvety Potato Corn Chowder

What is the difference between a “good” carb and a “bad” carb? Everyone wants to put a label on food, but in reality, it’s about choosing whole foods over processed foods that will lead us down the path toward health and well-being. The better question, “what is the difference between a simple carb and a complex carb?” What you want to remember is that carbohydrates are an essential part of good nutrition. They provide fuel for the body and the brain, and in their plant-based form, whole “carbs” are good carbs. I’m talking about vegetables of course!

A simple carb refers to sugars, the best of which are the naturally occurring sugars in whole fruits and vegetables (Yes, you can find simple carbs disguised as artificial sweeteners in candy bars, power bars, or any other packaged “bar” but keep in mind, those are not the healthy fuel that your body really craves). A complex carb, on the other hand, is a carb that takes longer to break down during digestion, therefore, you feel full longer, by eating whole grains or starchy vegetables like the potato. Starchy vegetables are a more concentrated source of carbohydrates because they are made up of a longer chain of sugar molecules than are the simple carbs found in fruit and non-starchy vegetables.

You see it’s not the potato that is hurting us, it’s the salt, bacon, and cheese. The first step is to end our love affair with cheese, because it’s certainly not doing us any favors. All cheese (unfortunately) is processed, so any time you can cut back on cheese in your overall diet, you will make your belly happy. Sure, throwing frozen hash browns together with bacon and cheese certainly does make a tasty potato soup, but just because you made it at home doesn’t necessarily mean the ingredients were the healthiest choice available. I started considering how I could get that creamy, comforting chowder in a healthier variety. It takes a little practice, but I promise you won’t miss the uninspiring effects of bacon and cheese in this velvety potato and corn chowder. Bon appetit!

corn – 1 package frozen (or sliced off 4 cobs)
potatoes – 3lbs (for best results, use a combo of waxy, new, and idaho potatoes)
3 leeks
nutmeg (pinch)
1 vidalia onion
4-6 cups vegetable broth (depends how thick you want it)
salt and pepper
chives, chopped for topping
sour cream (optional) a dollop for topping

Preparation: Peel and cube potatoes, then boil them for 10 minutes. Allow them to sit in the just boiled water for an additional 10 minutes with the lid on. While the potatoes are boiling, sauté chopped leaks and onion with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Drain the potatoes, reserve some to chop finely if you want your soup to be chunky. Add remaining potatoes and onion mixture to a food processor or high speed blender. Process until desired consistency, adding broth a little at a time. Bring the soup back to the pot and then add corn (and additional broth) until your desired consistency. Top with sour cream and chives.

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