Summer + Corn = Delicious

It’s been a while since my last post, but when the farm season is on it demands most of our waking hours. It has been hot and humid for the past month. At the end of the day, all I want is a shower and a cocktail! We had a successful garlic harvest that was sold in just two days! We are currently harvesting our early potatoes and onions. When my brother in law brought a dozen ears of corn to us, I knew I wanted to make some corn chowder. It is such a pleasure to use vegetables from our farm, at their peak of freshness.

Making a stock out of the corn cobs really deepens the flavor profile. I prefer the sweetness of white summer onions, red potatoes and dill for this soup; but use whatever suits your taste. You could substitute the red potatoes for Yukon golds, use a sweet yellow onion like Walla Walla, and cilantro instead of dill. This soup uses a mirepoix for a base, but you could use onions and jalapeño for a southwestern flare. Either way, the end result will not disappoint.

SUMMER CORN CHOWDER

INGREDIENTS

FOR CORN STOCK:

  • 4 cups chicken stock (homemade if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Reserved corn cobs

FOR CORN CHOWDER:

  • 4 cups corn kernels (from about 4-5 ears of corn), reserving cobs for stock
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion of choice, finely diced (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced (1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced (1 cup)
  • 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the corn stock by cutting kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife. Set corn kernels aside, and place cobs in a stock pot.
  2. Add 4 cups chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes while you make the chowder. Use tongs to remove and discard cobs.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, brown chopped bacon over medium-high heat. Remove bacon bits to paper towels to drain with a slotted spoon.
  4. In the same pot, add chopped onion, carrot and celery to the bacon fat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until onion is soft and translucent.
  5. Add corn kernels, potatoes, additional salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a pinch of cayenne. Add corn stock and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add fresh chopped dill and ladle into bowls. Top with bacon bits.

Serves: 4-6

“Summertime, and the living is easy.” –George Gershwin

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