Monday, March 08, 2010

Corn Chowder

Adapted from: Mollie Katzen

I had a big bag of corn that I had cut off the cob and frozen during the summer, and this is what I made with it tonight. I had to taste and adjust the ingredients at the end to get the flavor and consistency the way I wanted, so you might have to play with it a bit. I ended up adding more milk, more butter, and a spoonful of sugar. I also added 2 bay leaves to the potatoes while they were simmering (remove before pureeing). If you have the corn cobs, you can add them to the soup as it simmers and remove before pureeing.

Mollie says it is also good with a bag of frozen corn if you don't have fresh in-season corn.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small (about 2 cups diced)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 medium stalk celery, finely minced
1 small red bell pepper, finely minced (I omitted)
5 cups (approximately 4 to 5 cobs' worth) fresh sweet corn
White pepper to taste (I used fresh ground black pepper)
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or more, to taste
1 cup milk, at room temperature, lowfat OK (I used more milk than this at the end)
[~1 Tbsp sugar if the final product isn't sweet enough - depends on your corn]

1. Place the potatoes and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Set aside, including cooking water.
2. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add celery. Five minutes later add the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red bell pepper, the corn, and a few shakes of white pepper. Stir well, cover, and reduce heat. Cook quietly for about 5 minutes longer.
3. Using a blender or food processor, purée about half the solids (about 2 to 3 cups--it doesn't have to be exact!) in some of the soup's own liquid. Return this to the kettle, and let it rest until serving time (I used an immersion blender).
4. Stir in the basil and milk about 10 minutes before serving time. Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it--gently!-- until it's hot enough to eat. Adjust seasonings before serving. Serve immediately.

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