Fresh Corn Chowder

As this will likely be my last corn post of the season, please bear with me. I just find it so hard to drive by the piles of ears at every farm stand without stopping to pick up a bunch.* But the corn displays are quickly being replaced by apples of different colors, so I will be moving on. Before the corn is gone, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. The secret to this chowder’s success, with so few ingredients, is the sweetness of the corn and it’s crisp texture. I’d be reluctant to try it with frozen corn (often an acceptable substitution) because the corn is the star here and I’m just not sure anything but fresh would shine.

I must confess that it was my own disorganization that led me to search the internet and land upon this recipe by Tyler Florence. I’ve been making the same Corn Chowder recipe for years–it’s one of my old school recipes written on a yellow index card and filed in a purple recipe box (please tell me that some of you are familiar with this antiquated system?). I remember making the chowder last fall and weeks later, seeing the recipe card in an odd place. Well, I am sure that the tattered yellow card is still in that “odd place” and I will stumble upon it sooner or later. When I do, I promise to post so we can do a little chowder comparison.

This Corn Chowder is certainly not light but hey, we can’t be good all the time. It is rich and hearty, a soup that satisfies with just one bowl. It comes together easily and is perfect for a chilly fall weekend lunch or dinner with a crisp, green salad. My kids loved it so it will make another appearance on our table while the corn is still in season. 

*As opposed to peeling back the corn’s husk at the tip and examining the kernels, I find a reliable way to choose good ears is to base it on weight. Select ears that feel heaviest in the hand.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Fresh Corn Chowder
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  6. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 6 cups vegetable stock
  8. 2 cups heavy cream
  9. 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  10. 6 ears corn
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  12. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).
  5. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Reduce heat to medium.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Notes
  1. The vegetable stock gives this soup its rich color and depth of flavor. I encourage you to use it rather than chicken stock.
Adapted from Tyler Florence: Food Network
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