Since the opening of its first Souplantation in 1978 in San Diego, California, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has expanded to 61 salad buffet restaurants with locations in Southern California, where they are known as Souplantation, and in Northern California and ten other states, where they are known as Sweet Tomatoes. Differing in name only, the restaurants are known for their abundance of fresh, great tasting salad selections, soups, bakery items, pastas and desserts in a self-serve format, set in a casual dining atmosphere.




Chesapeake Corn Chowder

Souplantation Copycat Recipe

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon bacon fat
2 medium shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1 small green pepper
1 medium large red pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups corn stock (see below)
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 teaspoons fresh thyme
3-4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups corn kernels, 1/2 cup set aside
4-5 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 pint heavy cream
8 oz crab meat
chopped parsley (optional)
grated Parmesan (optional)

Begin by prepping your shallots, garlic, red & green pepper. You will be pureeing this later, so the dice does not need to be exact, just close enough in size for the vegetables to cook evenly. Melt bacon grease into olive oil over medium heat a large pot. Increase heat to medium-high and add shallots, garlic, and diced peppers into the pot. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are fragrant and soft.

Add flour to sauteed vegetables and stir to coat. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Slowly add the corn stock and vegetable broth, whisking as you pour it into the pot to avoid clumps. Add 1/2 a cup of corn kernels and bring pot to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until corn is tender.

Using a stick blender or a traditional blender, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot. Stir in potatoes, corn kernels, thyme, Old Bay Seasoning, and salt and pepper. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a medium low simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Stir in heavy cream and crab meat. Recover and cook on the lowest setting for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the flavors develop. Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley and/or Parmesan and warm bread or crackers on the side

Corn Stock
5-6 ears of corn
4 cups of water
1 leek

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the corn kernels from the cob and set aside the kernels. Break the cobs in half and place in large pot or dutch oven. Add water to cover the cob pieces. Cut leek in half length-wise and add to the pot. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid has reduced by 1/2 a cup to a whole cup. You should have about 3 cups of corn stock when complete.

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