Seeing the first fresh corn of the season the other day at the grocery store, reminded me of this delicious corn chowder I made last summer. Warm weather isn’t necessarily “soup weather” to me, but this chowder was perfect because it wouldn’t taste nearly as good when fresh corn is not available.
This was my first time making a corn chowder. I wanted it to be creamy, flavorful and vegan. I discovered that the trick to creating a deep, rich corn flavor lies in the stock, which is nothing more than some vegetables and the scraped corn cobs boiled in water. It isn’t really much hands-on work since it basically just simmers away in a pot. While the broth is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the soup. Substitute fresh poblano peppers for the red bell peppers, or an onion for the leeks if you want. Use whichever look best to you!
Just thinking about this chowder makes me want to run to the market and buy some corn today!
I hope you’ll try this recipe at least once this summer!
Here’s the recipe:
- 6 to 8 ears of fresh corn
- a bouillion cube or two
- 2 to 3 fresh chile peppers, whole but pricked with a knife
- 2 or 3 large leeks
- 2 large carrots, washed and cut into chunks
- 2 large carrots, washed and diced
- 2 cups of red potatoes, washed and cut into small cubes
- 1 or 2 chopped red bell peppers
- a couple of minced hot chile peppers or a little cayenne pepper
- a little olive oil
- 2 cans of coconut milk (14 oz each)
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Peel the husks off the corn.
Wash, then remove as much of the corn silk as possible.
On a large cutting board, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and reserve both separately.
Cut or break the cobs in half.
Wash the leeks and cut off the dark green part. Reserve.
Slice the edible tender parts of the leeks into thin half moons. Reserve.
Making the corn stock:
In a large soup pot, combine the corn cobs, coarse dark green parts of the leeks, a couple of carrots cut into chunks, the bouillon cube, a couple of the whole jalapeños and a little sea salt.
Fill the pot with cold water (about 12 cups) and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer the stock for about an hour.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve and return it to the soup pot.
Continue to simmer it on low heat.
Making the “chowder” part:
In a deep sauté pan heat a little olive oil over medium heat.
Add the sliced tender leeks to the pan with a pinch of salt.
Sauté until soft and fragrant.
Next, add the cubed potatoes, chopped carrots and bell peppers and minced chiles if using.
Continue to cook over low heat for a few minutes.
Don’t let the vegetables brown.
Pour the coconut milk into the pan and bring to a boil.
Cover the pan, turn down the heat and simmer the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
Carefully pour the veggies into the reserved broth.
Add the corn and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
In a blender, purée half of the vegetables until very smooth and creamy.
Return the purée to the soup pot.
Taste, and adjust salt if needed.
Reheat gently until piping hot!
Grind lots of black pepper into the chowder and serve with a salad and some crusty bread!
Silky creamy chowder with sweet kernels of corn and bits of bell pepper and potatoes.