Monday, September 6, 2010

Corn Chowder

It's 9:00 on Monday night of Labor Day weekend. This signifies the end of many things. It's the end of a long weekend. It's also the finale to summer - while not yet the autumnal equinox, it's time for the kids to go back to school, and office chairs will once again be full - including mine. My 2 plus weeks of vacation is very quickly coming to a close. I am grasping at the last few minutes here. I realized I never wrote a single blog entry the whole time, so I am doing a little vacation cramming.
My vacation was not necessarily all I hoped it would be, since it was rainy, cold and dreary for four solid days during the first week, but I had a really nice trip to Colorado with perfectly sunny, dry days every day that made up for it. And, most importantly, I was able to fully disconnect from work and relax. In fact, I did such a good job at this that I'm really anxious about returning to a structured lifestyle tomorrow. Just the thought of having to get up, get dressed for work and be someplace at a specific time seems a little on the hectic side to me.
We had many tasty meals while on vacation. Appearing on the list of most memorable for me were the Olathe Farm Corn soup we had at the Timberline Restaurant in Crested Butte and then the Organic Carrot & Thai Red Curry soup from Root Down in Denver. I really do love eating and making soup, which is why I'm so happy that we are embarking on soup weather here. To celebrate, I made some corn chowder yesterday. I originally set out to make a soup like the one we had at Timberline, but I think I became influenced by the book I was reading The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. It's about a woman who is let go of her corporate type job, and uses the opportunity to follow her dream to attend cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Since many of the recipes discussed were meat stuffed meat or swathed in butter and cream, I think I felt the need to do something at least a bit decadent.
I'd never cooked with fresh corn before, instead reaching for the bag from the freezer. I am now going to try to fit in as many corn dishes as I can before it's totally out of season. Cutting the kernels from the cob was much easier than I anticipated and the effort is definitely worth it.
This is a very basic recipe and one you could add to.
Edit: I have made this subsequently and used a stock made from the corn cob. If you have the extra time I highly recommend doing this.

Corn Chowder
3 tblspns of butter
1 tblspn olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 cups non tomato based veggie stock (or see recipe for corn cob stock)
2 cups heavy cream
2 Russet potatoes, diced
6 ears of corn kernels removed from the cob
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. In a soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme, cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Dust the vegetables in the pot with the flour and mix to coat everything.
3. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the cream and the potatoes. Bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes start to break down.
5. Cut the kernels from the cob and add to the soup. Add salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 minutes.
6. If you want add parsley and stir in a bit more olive oil.

1 comment:

Becca said...

The corn chowder was AMAZING!!!! I can't wait to try this recipe myself. I will definitely be checking out your blog in the future for more inspiration in the soup department.