Good thing Winnipeg's cold snap broke, because I made a steaming, hearty pot of chowder two days after. It's so great, I broke into a charming sweat.

 Hey, it can be corn chowder. Or it can be "clam" chowder, thanks to the dehydrated shiitake mushrooms. Whatever you fancy. Coconut milk adds creaminess, while the immersion blender lends a hand in thickening up the rest - no muss, no fuss. Serves 2-4.

1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup corn
2 white potatoes - yielding about 1 1/2 cups
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped into bite size pieces
2 tsp old bay seasoning, or cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, bring water and coconut milk to a boil. Add in all vegetables and let simmer until all vegetables are soft.

Whip out the immersion blender, and blend about 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup until desired consistency is achieved.

Stir in old bay/cajun seasoning, and salt/pepper to taste.

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