Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Soups: Fresh Corn Chowder

I love making soup on Sunday and having leftovers for lunch or dinner during the week.  It never happens in the Summer, but now that it's nearly Fall, I've decided to start this series to help me make a habit of it.  There are healthy soups and hearty soups, and I thought I would start with one that is light and perfect for this time of year, when the corn at our local farm stand is still at its best.

This is not your typical corn chowder, because it's not creamy in the traditional sense.  After cooking all of the vegetables, you puree some of them and stir them back in to thicken the soup.  There is the addition of some milk at the end, but the soup is really all about the fresh corn.

Fresh Corn Chowder
from Mollie Katzen, adapted from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest

1 medium potato, peeled and diced small (about 2 cups diced)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/2 teaspoon thyme (I use fresh, but the recipe calls for dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
1 medium stalk celery, finely minced
1 small red bell pepper, finely minced
5 cups (approximately 4 to 5 cobs' worth) fresh sweet corn
White pepper to taste (I give it 3 shakes, which may be more pepper than many like)
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or more, to taste)
1 cup milk, at room temperature (lowfat OK; I do use skim because that's what we have in the house)

TIP: This may seem obvious, but someone had to tell me, so I'm going to pass along the knowledge in case it helps.  When you're cutting corn off the cob, it tends to fly everywhere if you start from the top.  Start half way down,
work your way around, then flip the cob over and do the same.  It's less messy. Why didn't I think of that?

1. Bring the potatoes and water to a boil in a saucepan, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a pot, then add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add the 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, cooking quietly for about 5 minutes longer.

This is what the soup looks like before you puree some of the vegetables.

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. Add the purée back into the pot.

This is what it looks like once some of the vegetables have been puréed.

4. Stir in the basil and milk about 10 minutes before serving time. Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it until it's hot enough to eat. Serve immediately.

Do you cook more on Sundays so you'll have leftovers?  Do you have any great soup recipes?  Please send them my way!

1 comment:

Tortla Dot said...

Your soup sounds fabulous!

Funny- I recently made a similar soup and wanted it a little heartier. I added some bacon and garlic to the saute. The substitution of bottled clam juice for some of the water added a flavor dimension.

I like your hint about cutting corn off the cob. I've read that it is workable to prop the corn upright into the center of a tube pan. Sounds clever, but have not tried it. Let me know if you try it, please.