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Herbed Vegetable Chowder

1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
4 cups vegetable stock
1 zucchini, diced
1 package frozen corn, thawed
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. fresh chives, chopped

Heat oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, leek, bay leaves, and carrots 4-5 minutes. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. Add zucchini, corn, and tomato. Cook 3 minutes more or until potatoes are done. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Purée one-half the chowder in a blender. Return puréed chowder to pot. Add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.

Note: Try other herbs, such as dill, chervil, thyme, or cilantro, in place of or in addition to the chives.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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