Late Summer Vegetable Corn Chowder

Late Summer Vegetable Corn Chowder
 

Late Summer Vegetable Corn Chowder

Chowder gets such a bad rap, and I'm guilty of it myself. I can vividly remember watching my dad pop open a can of Campbell's Clam Chowder and just wondering how it go to be so thick, wondering what all the mysterious items covered in that white, really undesirable liquid were. 

Have I convinced you should make this yet? I'm getting there. Flash forward to my love of corn on the cob. Despite his ability to overlook some of the weirdest, ratchy-ist non perishable items, he also believed in one thing when it came to food-- eat fresh vegetables and fruits only when they're in season. And the thing he felt most passionately about was local corn. 

It was so overbearing that for the bulk of our lives, we didn't even know you could buy corn when it wasn't August. We grew up binge eating it for the three weeks a year it was allowed, trying to enjoy it before it was taken away from us, like huddled little orphans in Annie. 

I served this to someone who's immediate reaction was, "wait, this isn't what I thought this was going to be", and that's the best way to describe this soup. It's fresh while still being a little indulgent, uses the best of your end of summer vegetables, and reverses all of your notions about chowder.

| Amanda

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corn chowder
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Late Summer Vegetable Corn Chowder

Yield - Serves 8

5 ears of corn

6 sprigs time

6 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

4 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup beer, light or pale ale works great

3 russet potatoes, diced into 1/2 in. pieces

1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2 in. pieces

1 red pepper, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 stalks leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 jalapeno, de-seeded & diced

2 tbsp. flour

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. dried thyme

dash hot sauce

2 tsp. course Kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

chopped parsley

 

Cut kernels from cobs in a large bowl, making sure to get down to the core to extract the "milk". In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tbsp. butter over medium heat, and add kernels, seasoning generously with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender 10-12 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

Add beer to pot, stirring to scrape up brown bits, until liquid is slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Pour into bowl with corn.

Heat olive oil over medium and add potatoes, zucchini, red pepper, onions, leeks, garlic, and jalapeno, and stir occasionally until vegetables have softened, 12-15 minutes. Add nutmeg, dried thyme, fresh thyme sprigs, crushed red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste, and stir. Add 1 tbsp. butter to vegetables, and stir in flour. Cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bay leaf, bring to a bowl. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, tasting and adding salt & pepper when necessary. After vegetables are fully cooked, add cream and corn, stir and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stirring in dashes of hot sauce to taste, topping with chopped parsley.

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