Total time: 40 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes
For a girl that lives in Nebraska now, I sure don’t post enough corn recipes! And I must reallllly love corn chowder because there’s a different recipe for it in three of my books.
What I dig about this version, is that you really can dress it up or down for any season. It being almost summer and me with a freshly sprung garden, I like to run out and snip whatever fresh herbs call out at me. In this case, basil and chives. A few radishes poking their heads out? Well, great, let’s slice ‘em up and throw ‘em on!
I find that coconut oil and coconut milk give this chowder a heavenly richness while providing the perfect backdrop for all that corn flavor. The chowder is thick, rich and creamy with nice chunks of potato and carrot, and a little lime juice to give it a bit of ZING. It’s filling, yes, but also fresh and summery. I like a big pinch of red pepper flakes for some spice, but you can suit to taste. A jalapeno might be nice if you’ve got some around. Some chopped fresh tomato when they become ripe.
In the summer, serve with a salad (this Garlicky Zucchini Ribbon Salad, maybe?) and in the colder months, serve with a sandwich or just a nice crusty hunk of bread. Maybe a Banh Mi? It really can be a soup for all seasons.
~ This recipe uses a method that really makes corn chowder shine: let the corn cobs stew in the pot. They hold lots of maize-y flavor, so don’t let ’em go to waste. At the end, you remove the cobs and only your delicious soup knows they were ever there. I suppose you can use frozen corn instead, but only if you’re really crunched for time.
~ To slice corn from the cob without the corn bouncing all over the place, put the husked corn in a wide bowl and simply use your chef’s knife to slice down each side. The kernels will fall into the bowl. All will be well.
~ Many supermarkets have already husked corn in their produce department! I (shamefully) take that shortcut when I can, because it shaves like 10 minutes off prep time. Maybe more if you’re a little slower than me.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cup fresh corn (from 5 to 6 ears)
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 lb thin skinned potato (like yukon gold), cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon corn starch or arrowroot
3/4 cup coconut milk, regular or lite
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh chives (1/2 cup should do it)
Thinly sliced fresh basil (1/2 cup or so)
Thinly sliced radish
A few extra fresh corn kernels
Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for another minute. Add corn and carrots and cook for 3 more minutes or so.
Measure one cup of the broth into a measuring cup. Mix in the cornstarch with a fork until dissolved. Set aside.
Add remaining 3 cups of broth to the pot, along with the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, break the corn cobs in half and add them to the pot. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove corn cobs. Add remaining vegetable broth and starch mixture, and cook to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add coconut milk, black pepper, salt to taste and lime juice.
Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender (get one!) then transfer about half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth then add back to the pot. If the soup is still steaming hot, make sure to either keep the opening on top of your food processor open, or lift the lid often for steam to escape. If steam builds up in a close container it can explode the lid off. Ouch.
Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh corn kernels, fresh herbs and radishes.