Roasted Corn Chowder
I don’t know why the craving for corn chowder struck during a string of 90+ degree days in July. But it did. Maybe it was the recognition that sweet corn from Olathe was close to harvest. Keep reading and you’ll perhaps be surprised by a really interesting twist on this recipe, which you’ll find at the end.
4 ears of corn
1 ½ cups diced carrot
1 ½ cups diced celery
2 medium potatoes, small dice
½ sweet yellow onion, medium dice
small clove of garlic, minced
1 quart stock (chicken or veggie)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or cream
First roast the corn. I like to do it outside on the grill. There are two methods you can use. Some people just throw the ears of corn straight on the grill at high heat, leaving the husk in place. This basically steams the corn and works fine. By the way, you can either remove the silk or not for this method. The second way to grill corn, and the method I prefer, is to remove the husk and silk and drizzle olive oil over the corn and also dust with salt and pepper. Then toss them on the barbeque directly. You don’t want all the kernels to be charred, just a few. A couple of minutes per side is usually enough. When the corn is cooked, let it cool and then remove the kernels from the cob. Helpful Hint: an easy way to avoid the mess of kernels going everywhere when removing them from the cob is to put a towel under the ears of corn. As you remove the kernels by cutting down along the cob, the kernels drop onto the towel. When you’re done cutting, gather the corners of the towel together and dump the corn into a bowl.
In a soup pot, saute the carrot in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a two minutes on medium heat. Salt and pepper the carrots lightly while they’re cooking. Add the garlic and onion and continue cooking for another two minutes. Now add the celery and cook for another two minutes. Add the stock and the diced potatoes, bring to a low boil and then simmer until the potatoes are done, usually 15-20 minutes. Remove about a third of the liquid (but not the veggies) from the pot to a blender or food processor, add 1/3 of the corn and blend until the mixture is really smooth. Then add that mixture back to the soup pot, along with the rest of the corn. The purpose of that step was to thicken the soup some and give you that chowder texture. Add the soy milk or cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Its also nice to add a little bit of cayenne, just a dash. I also add just a touch (like 1/4 teaspoon) of cider vinegar or lemon juice, which brightens up the flavors really nicely.
Here’s the interesting part: after I made the chowder I stored it in the refrigerator, of course. The next day I wanted a bowl and for some crazy reason, decided to try it cold. That probably had to do with the temp outside, about 98. To my surprise, it tasted great cold and I’ve been eating it that way ever since. So give it a try and see what you think.