I usually don't refer to any recipes when I'm making soup. Part of the appeal is that I can pretty much throw anything in a pot, let it simmer, and be left with a tasty meal. A few summers ago when our CSA share left us buried in corn week after week, I started reading all recipes corn related and discovered this chowder from Mark Bittman. It is so creamy and sweet that I'm willing to go the extra mile and crack the cookbook for this one. There is a lot of milk which made me worry at first, as you might guess though it makes for great richness.
This is early in the season for corn here and I do like to wait for it to be in season, but our farmer's market had these delicious ears from Georgia and I was powerless to resist. I am glad I went for it because we all thoroughly enjoyed this chowder... even better than I remembered!
Corn Chowder: adapted slightly from Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian'
- kernels from 5 ears of corn (save the cobs)
- 2 medium or three small potatoes, pealed and chopped to about 3/4"
- 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
- 4 tbs butter
- half of one medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 c flour
- 1 qt (4 c) milk
- 2 c milk
- 1 tbs chopped fresh sage
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the kernals off of the ears of corn and set aside (I like to do this on a large baking sheet since the lip helps keep the corn from flying everywhere). Place the bare corn cobs and two cups of water in a heavy bottomed pot with a lid. Salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Reserve the liquid and discard the cobs.
Meanwhile dice the onion and chop the potatoes and tomatoes and set aside.
Melt the butter on medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the onion and sugar and sautee for a minute until the onion is just softened. Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour, stirring constantly until the mixture is golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the milk and the water from the corn cobs and increase the heat to medium high. Stir constantly for a few minutes until the flour is dissolved.
Stir in the potatoes, sage, and corn kernels. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook covered, stirring occasionally for an additional 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
I like to go all out in the celebration of corn and serve a big side of cornbread. Of course Little Smith enjoys his with a few slices of cheddar cheese.
Corn chowder is like a warm bowl of summer, and make sure you plan for leftovers because it's even more irresistable the second day!