Harvest corn chowder

1 T. canola oil
2 C. chopped leeks, well rinsed
1 C. sliced celery
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 1/2 C. water
2 C. peeled, diced parsnips or white potatoes
2 C. peeled, diced butternut or other winter squash
2 C. corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/4 C. dry sherry
2 T. dried parsley
1 T. dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the leeks, celery, pepper, and garlic and saute for 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients (except the corn, if frozen) and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the parsnips are tender and the squash has liquefied. (Add the corn if it is frozen and return to a simmer for 5 minutes.)

Ladle into bowls and serve with a hearth-style bread.

Serves: 
4-6
Notes: 

Originally from The Global Vegetarian. I went with parsnips, butternut, and a slightly spicy red wine instead of the sherry. Rave reviews.