Fresh Corn and Potato Chowder
I make this corn chowder with fresh corn scraped with a knife straight off the cob. In addition I do not throw away the cobs but rather use them to flavour the stock. It sounds like a lot of work but really, it isn’t, and the resulting soup is delicate and flavourful. The potatoes make the soup thick and velvety and the corn give it a lovely texture. I suggest that you use an immersion blender to partially purée the soup rather than do it in a blender. This way it retains a nice texture. Finishing the soup with a little cream makes it so delicious and creamy but I like it even plain, without the cream. If you are vegan, leave the cream out or substitute with oat or rice milk.
4 cup corn from 4-6 corncobs, depending on their size
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped
4 cups corn kernels
1 scant tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
1 cup cream
Remove kernels from the corncobs by standing the cob on its wide end in a large bowl and running the blade of a sharp knife down the sides, scraping down the kernels and catching any escaping juices. Keep rotating the cob until all rows of kernel are removed.
Place the scraped corncobs in a large pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer and develop flavour. This will be your soup stock and if you feel you need more flavour just replace some of the water with stock.
Melt butter together with olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook until softened and fragrant. Add celery and then carrots and potatoes cook the vegetables until softened but do not allow them to brown.
Add corn kernels and stir to coat everything with the butter (notice that this is also a nice way to prepare corn as a vegetable dish). Add the flour and a little salt and pepper (more later) and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook a few minutes to cook the flour.
When everything is nicely combined add the stock from the corncobs into the soup. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the soup to develop flavours.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper.
When the soup is ready use an immersion blender to puree about half of the soup (you can do it right in the pot or transfer half the soup into a blender, puree and return to the pot).
Add cream and taste to adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
If you find that you need to thicken the soup you can mix 1 tablespoon soft butter with 2 tablespoons flour and add pieces of this paste into the soup to thicken slightly. Leftover paste can be frozen to thicken a soup or a sauce another time.
Spoon into soup bowls, garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.