Corn Chowder

September 28th, 2009    •  by Bethia    •   No Comments »

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With its combination of end-of-the-summer sweet corn and cosy warmth, corn chowder is the perfect comfort food for windy fall day. It makes you want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good novel. I had had the idea of making corn chowder for a few days but I can’t remember who started me thinking about it. I did have  a look on line for a recipe, but when I found one that used Campbell’s condensed chicken soup and a can of sweet corn I gave up and decided to create my own version with ingredients from the North Market, the garden and the freezer.

I was really pleased with the result- creamy but not overly rich and with all the flavors mingling so that nothing was dominant. I used fresh corn today but I froze a couple of batches of sweet corn this summer and I am looking forward to making this again over the winter. Maybe I will experiment with corn pudding too. The Carola Gold potatoes deserve a special shout-out. They are fantastic – really golden in color and have a wonderful flavor. I used some for a shepherd’s pie the other day and they almost mashed themselves. The celery salt was a last minute inspiration and I am glad I thought of it. I might add a little extra bacon next time, but just to keep AD happy.

1 tbsp Butter & 1 tbsp Olive Oil (may need more depending on pan).
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
2 medium potatoes (Carola golds from Northridge Organics via the Greener Grocer) cut into small cubes
3 rashers of bacon (Bluescreek Farm Meats) chopped
3 ears of corn shucked- Wishwell Farms via North Market Farmers Market
Leaves picked from 4 springs fresh thyme
Homemade chicken stock (to cover – approx 3/4 pint) from freezer.
Milk (approx 3/4 pint) Snowville Creamery (I used skimmed)
Half and Half  (1/4 pint) Snowville Creamery
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chives snipped to garnish

Quantities are a little approximate – I didn’t measure the  stock or milk, so just add until you get the consistency you want.

Saute the onion, bacon and celery until the onions are starting to soften. Keep the heat low enough that the onions do not brown. Add the cubed potato and thyme leaves and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that they do not stick. You may need to add a little extra butter. Then add the chicken stock and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Check that the potatoes are cooked. Turn the pan off the heat and ladle the potatoes, celery and a little of the liquid into the blender. Add a cup of milk. Pulse for a few seconds and return to the pan. Rinse the blender out with the rest of the milk. Add the corn kernals, cream and parsley as well as celery salt and seasoning. Turn the heat back on and then cook the soup for 5 minutes. You may want to add a little extra liquid depending on thickness. To serve sprinkle with finely snipped chives. (I say snipped because I find it easiest to use scissors. I also use scissors to chop the bacon).

Another tip is that Snowville milk and cream freeze really well, so if you don’t think you can use half a gallon of cream within the date, you can decant it into smaller containers and then defrost small amounts as you need them. Warren suggested freezing it in an ice cube tray but I have been reusing old Jeni’s pints.

Serves four.


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