I can’t help but say I’m kind of enjoying that summer’s come to an end. Because it makes room for my favourite season: autumn. I just love autumn. Especially its colours. How the scenery slowly changes from a fresh green to a sudden burst of joyful reds, oranges, yellows and browns.
Last year I was hoping to catch the autumn colours in Japan, but was disappointed to find out that autumn came late and we missed the bright red maple leaves. So, now I have an excuse to go back! Unfortunately not this year…
Autumn is also grape harvest season - Vineyards around Europe get busy and the most beautiful wines start being produced. In my home country of Luxembourg, autumn is the season for innumerable wine festivals, with wine queens parading the streets and people cheering them on whilst savouring the local wines. You might not know it, but Luxembourg really has some great wines. From Riesling to Pinot Noir and award-winning sparkling wines, it’s all growing in the tiny Grand-Duchy. No wonder then that growing upin that country has let to me developing a taste for fine wine. Back in my student days we would always fill our car with boxes of Bernard-Massard and Desom sparkling wines and drive it all over to the UK, where we’d be the stars at each house party, for bringing such obscure but delicious wines…
Now, over to this recipe, which, surprise, surpise, is made with some nice white wine! This delicious soup embraces all the beautiful colours of autumn, and it’s real comforting too. The perfect bowl for colder, wetter and stormier days.
I got the inspiration from a food magazine, but decided to reduce the amount of stock and instead add wine to it. I always love cooking with wine – it just adds a great dimension to cooked foods. Don’t worry if you don’t have any wine at hand, just replace it with stock instead.
This chowder is best enjoyed with some crusty bread and a glass of cold white wine. Enjoy! ★
1 red pepper
1 medium leek
300ml dry white wine
800ml chicken stock
1 tin sweetcorn (about 300g drained)
150ml double cream
2 tbsp chives
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm dice. Deseed the pepper and cut into 1cm squares. Wash the leek and cut into slices (as long as your thumb). Drain the sweetcorn and set aside. Cut the pancetta into slices.
In a large pot, melt the butter and fry the pancetta in it. Once it’s taking colour, add the potatoes and stir for a few minutes, then add the peppers and leek. Continue to fry for another minute, then add the white wine.
Once it starts bubbling, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
Add the sweetcorn and keep simmering for another couple of minutes. Then add the double cream and the chives.
Serve with some crusty bread.