One of my friends in the tea world, Annelies Zijderveld, has released a new book, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea. In it, she translates the technique of culinary tea infusions for avid home cooks, and focuses on providing 75 plant-based recipes.
I'd basically like to take the next month off and cook all of the recipes.
Until that happens, I'm going to try this recipe that Annelies has kindly offered to share with us as a teaser for the book. It is a pairing of one of my favorite teas -- chamomile -- and one of my favorite soups, a corn chowder.
Chamomile Corn Chowder
From Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld, Andrews McMeel Publishing. Makes 2 to 4 servings.
The floral honeyed tones of chamomile beautifully complement the sweetness of corn. This chowder owes its body to being half puréed, rather than to cream or butter, making it naturally vegan. I use frozen corn here, but if you’re lucky enough to find fresh organic corn, by all means use it.
- 1 tablespoon safflower, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 4 small potatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 medium sweet potato, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 1/2 cups Cuddletime chamomile tisane, brewed (use 2 tablespoons loose tea)
- 1 pound frozen organic corn kernels or the kernels from 2 ears of organic corn
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley
Place an 8-quart stockpot over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Swirl the oil in the pot to coat. Sauté the onion and bell pepper for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, sweet potato, salt, pepper, and chamomile. Raise the heat to medium-high. Once boiling, about 5 minutes, cover and lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high. Stir in the corn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Ladle half of the soup and solids into a blender, avoiding the sweet potato. Remove the cap from the blender lid and hold a towel over the opening. Purée until smooth. Return the puréed soup to the pot and stir to integrate. Grind in black pepper to taste. Garnish with the parsley.