Now that summer is officially here, I’ve been hankering for a good bowl of corn chowder; thick, creamy, sweet and rich, flecked with fresh herbs, plump kernels of yellow corn and soft pillows of perfectly cubed potatoes. Chowder isn’t often something that one thinks of as a summer food, but when the fog rolls in, the skies are gray, and everything feels wet and clammy, chowder warms you up from the inside out.
And besides, my refrigerator and freezer needed some heavy duty cleaning out before the garden vegetables start to arrive in full force.
The recipe for Corn Chowder is from my archives, one I developed specifically to use “freezer” corn, instead of the traditional 1950’s recipes that call for canned corn.
Unfortunately, the product sold today as canned cream style corn contains starches, gums, and modified food thickeners. To easily eliminate these additives, just puree some of the corn in the food processor, which releases the milk from the kernels, and makes for a nice, creamy chowder.
In chowder recipes, I also like to use a combination of bacon fat and butter to sauté the onions. Old time recipes often call for salt pork. Serving vegetarians or folks that don’t enjoy parts of the pig? Use butter, or another fat of your choice.
Cooking the potatoes in chicken stock makes for a hearty soup. For my veggie lovers, I create a quick vegetable broth while cleaning out the produce drawer. In a large pot, cover the scraps of onion, garlic, lemon peel, celery and carrots with water and bring to a boil. Wash out the refrigerator drawer while the mixture simmers for 5 minutes. Strain the broth and enjoy.
Today folks all seem to love the salt and crunch of chopped bacon on everything. To my palate, nothing speaks of summer like freshly chopped parsley, thyme or chives. So think green and harvest those farm-to-table herbs from your garden.
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes about 1 pound
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a heavy soup pot until the fat has been rendered. Remove the cooked pieces.
- Stir in the diced onions and cook until they start to soften.
- Dice the potatoes into even pieces. Add the diced potatoes to the pot, stir and sauté for a minute or so.
- Add the stock, bay leaf and frozen corn kernels. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf and allow to cool slightly.
- Chop the cook bacon pieces and parsley. Set aside.
- Remove about 3 cups of the soup mixture and puree in the blender.
- Return the pureed chowder to the pot.
- Add the ½ cup heavy cream to the chowder base and gently heat the mixture to a simmer. Add the chopped fresh parsley, chopped bacon bits, sea salt and pepper. Taste and correct seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
- Ladle into heated bowls and enjoy.
- To reheat: warm gently in a heavy soup pot, stirring frequently, until it just starts to simmer.