Well we had a number of leftover items in the fridge that needed using, and as I was driving home an idea popped into my head on how to use them all up: sausage and corn chowder.
Leftover or just unused items: 4 ears of corn, one yellow bell pepper, 1/2 pound of Kielbasa sausage, several small already-cooked potatoes, 3 celery stalks, one large onion that had a part cut off and was sitting in the fridge in a plastic baggie.
So besides all of those items, I added 5 cloves of garlic, a few raw potatoes (these are small creamers), and a handful of baby carrots. Also some seasonings (see below).
Chopped sausage and vegetables into small, similar size pieces; stripped the kernels from the corn.
Cut up the cooked potatoes, threw them in the blender with 1-1/2 cups water, blended until they were very smooth.
Sautéed the onions, garlic and sausage in some olive oil until the onions were on the verge of being translucent. Added the rest of the vegetables, along with enough water to cover, and some seasonings: salt (carefully, since the sausage is already salty), pepper, cumin, some hot pepper flakes, and a few green herbs. You could use curry or any other seasoning that you like with a chowder.
Let it all simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Added the potato puree, and about 1 cup of half-and-half. It wasn't quite thick enough and we wanted to eat soon, so I added 1-1/2 Tbsp. of corn starch, stirred into a little cold water before adding it to the soup.
Served it with lightly toasted and buttered french bread for dipping. Mmmmm!
Seriously, you should try this if you love a hearty soup this time of year.