Late summer corn chowder
This was one of the best corn season I remember in the Okanagan. Almost every day I picked up delicate and sweet cobs of corn with pearly, crispy, juicy kernels at local markets, still cool from early morning picking. It was a memorable treat all summer and I have not tired of it yet.
My quickest and easiest method for cooking corn is in the microwave. I place the husked cobs in a sturdy ceramic dish, add a little water and cover with paper towel. it takes 8 minutes to cook and yields moist, crisp and beautiful corn. Sometimes we take the just cooked corn to the grill and roast it for a while until it is nicely charred here and there. Sometimes we do the entire cooking on the grill, but mostly I do it in the microwave.
Now that the season is slowly coming to an end I am starting to make soups from the vegetables of late summer and corn chowder is high on my list. I make it with fresh corn, buttery summer potatoes and local cream. It has a silky texture and sweet and savoury flavour and makes a nice transition from summer to fall.
Soups hardly need a recipe. You sauté the aromatics in olive oil or butter until soft and fragrant, add the main vegetable, pour in enough stock to cover by an inch or two and bring to a boil. Once the soup is bubbly lower the heat and let everything simmer on low heat until flavours meld, textures soften and the aromas fill your kitchen. You can add more stock as necessary as the soup is cooking. Depending on the soup you make either puree it in whole or in part or leave as is.
As with everything else I go a little overboard with making soups and I may find myself with three soups at the same time. I store them in mason quart jars, they are good for a few days in the fridge. If you are into freezing then soups freeze pretty well. One local chef sells soups frozen in plastic bags so they are flat and don’t take much room in the freezer. I sometime resort to freezing but not very often.
Other than making soups I am still working on our upcoming stay in Italy and must admit that selecting a rental is Rome is becoming a little stressful. This issue has invaded my dreams and I climb stairs, or find myself in windowless structures in my sleep searching for the right place to stay. I hope to find something and cross this off my list soon.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cups fresh corn kernels
4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2- 1 cup cream
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup creme fraiche
chopped chives or micro green for garnish
Heat oil and butter in a soup pot
Add the onion and cook until translucent and fragrant. Do not let it brown.
Add the corn and mix together for a couple of minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and cook about 20 minutes until the corn is cooked through and the soup has thicken somewhat.
Add the cream and bring to a simmer a gain.
Puree some of the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.
Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of micro greens or chives.