Sweet sweet summertime. Is there anything better than fresh corn on the cob in the summer?! How about a bag full of sweet corn that your neighbor from down the street (who also happens to be a farmer) drops off to your front door. "For all the shit you guys put up with," he said. I actually have no idea what he's talking about... he kindly lets us walk our dogs through his yard to avoid a busy road, and he always waves as we go by! It wasn't until a few minutes after he left, we questioned whether he meant it more literally, like the manure that they spread on the field behind our house a couple of times a season?
Either way, we gladly accept corn for any reason! And I decided to make corn chowder with it!
While most recipes on my blog are things you might consider "healthy," with tags like dairy free, gluten free, whole30, paleo, etc., this soup is none of those! But it is healthy in different way. It's GOOOOOOD, creamy, satisfying, savory, flavorful. Good for your mental health. And though summer might still be a little warm for soup in central PA, this one is worth it. Its thick, hearty, creamy, and a little spicy!
A few things to keep in mind:
Just leave out the Red Hot if you aren't into spicy things.
Confession time: I used pre-cooked bacon for this recipe! It would be better with legit bacon; but on a Friday night after work, I just couldn't muster it! Take the shortcut if you need it, or go with the real deal.
If you don't have (or don't want to deal with) corn on the cob, just use an equal amount of frozen corn! Trader Joe's as a realllly good grilled one that's a little charred and would be super good in this recipe!
If you want to make it quick and dirty, just use water or broth instead of boiling the corn cobs to make stock.
Sweet Corn Chile Chowder
8-10 ears of sweet corn, husked, silk removed, kernels cut off the cob (~5 cups)
8-10 cups water
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup butter + 2 Tbsp (separated)
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flour
2.5 lbs potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces (~8 cups)
2 4oz cans diced green chiles
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
3 Tbsp Red Hot (optional)
10 slices pre-cooked bacon, microwaved and chopped
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
Optional toppings: cheddar cheese and chives
Add 8-10 cups of water to a medium pot and heat on high.
Shuck the corn, removing the husks and silk. Cut all of the kernels off the cob.
TIP: To make this step easy, stand the cob up in the middle of a bundt pan so the kernels fall into the well when you cut them off.
Heat 4 Tbsp butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 8 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and allow it to melt and heat up.
To make a roux, add 1/3 cup of flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring with whisk.
Fish the corn cobs and bay leaves out of the pot of water and discard them. Strain the corn "stock" if you want (I didn't bother).
While constantly whisking, slowly add in 8 cups of the stock.
TIP: If you're going for a thicker chowder, stick to 6 cups of stock. If you want it to be more soupy, go with 8.
Add in the corn, potatoes, green chiles, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and Red Hot (totally optional).
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
TIP: Do yourself a favor and start on that pile of dishes now.
Remove from heat. Remove 3 cups of soup from the pot and puree it until smooth.
TIP: You can either use a normal blender for this or an immersion blender. Or if you're feeling brave, just use your immersion blender right in the pot of soup (but don't go too crazy, you want it to be chunky!)
Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir in the bacon and half and half.
Serve it up! Garnish with chives and cheddar cheese if that's your style.