With abundance of fresh corn to feed my corn addiction, a couple of weeks ago I felt like cooking some nice corn chowder. The weather was still too hot for such a heavy soup, so I came up with a lighter version for it.
I substituted the regular potatoes with sweet potatoes, and the heavy cream with milk and half and half. I used only a small amount of flour and thickened the chowder mainly by processing part of it in a blender. The result was indeed much lighter than most chowders, but it was still not a summery soup by all means. The solution was to up the AC to almost freezing temperature and to pretend it’s already fall and not the middle of summer – and it worked!
Now that the weather seems to be getting a bit cooler, I’ll be making this tasty chowder again. The colors definitely bring autumn to mind, and this chowder looks much more suitable for the season. Try it and enjoy.
* Most chowders use thyme as the herb of flavor. As I didn’t have fresh thyme, I used Herbs de Provence mix instead, as it contains thyme, along with other herbs and lavender. I loved the result and will definitely use the mix again. However, fresh thyme can be used instead.
* I used precooked thinly sliced bacon, which is less fatty. Regular bacon can be used instead, but in this case, remove part of the fat, so that the chowder will not end up too heavy.
* For a vegetarian version, simply omit the bacon.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2½ cups cooked corn (from 3 corn ears)
2 cup liquids from cooking the corn (or vegetable stock)
5 strips precooked thinly sliced bacon, chopped
2 Tbs butter
½ medium white onion, small diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp white pepper
1/3 cup small diced celery
1/3 cup small diced carrot
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
2 cups Half & Half
1 cup small diced sweet potato
1 tsp herbs de Provence (or fresh thyme)
Chopped scallions and celery leaves
1. Place the corn ears in a large pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute and turn off the heat. Let cool to room temperature. Measure 2 cups of the cooking liquids and set aside. With a large knife, scrape the kernels from the corn and measure 2½ cups. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, mix the bacon, butter, onion, scallion, salt, black and white pepper. Sauté on medium-high heat until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the celery and carrots. Mix and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they soften.
3. Add the flour and mix until it absorbs the fat. Add the milk, while stirring, to avoid lumps. Add the half and half, sweet potatoes and herbs de Provence mix. Mix, bring to an almost boil and lower the heat to low. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cook for 25 minutes.
4. Ladle 3 cups of the chowder into a blender, or a small food processor fitted with the metal blade. Blend well and pour back into the chowder. Mix well and serve, with the chopped celery and scallions on top.