Roasted Corn Chowder

Roasted Corn Chowder

The gods must have heard my pleas for cooler days.  The weather suddenly snapped without warning from 100 degree mugginess to cool 60 degree mornings.  And I love it.  Just when I thought I couldn’t take another day of blazing torture, I realized I didn’t have to.  The first thing this weather makes me want to do is have soup.  And there is no better time of year for corn chowder.

Roasted Corn Chowder

Why is there no better time for corn chowder?  It is cool enough for soup but corn is still in season, so you can make corn chowder the right way, that is with fresh corn on the cob, not frozen or canned.  Roasting the corn and using the cobs to make a corn broth is definitely the way to go with corn chowder.  Ever had corn chowder that left you wondering what happened to the corn?  Not with this recipe–you can taste the corn through and through.  Sure you could substitute vegetable or chicken broth for the corn broth, but this is so easy, and it makes the chowder taste like it came straight from the corn field, so there really is no other “right” way to do it.  This brings me back to the narrow window of time in a year that you can make great corn chowder, and this is it, so hop to it before it is too late and the fresh crop is gone for the season.

Roasted Corn Chowder Recipe

adapted from Mark Bittman’s Corn Chowder in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

6 cobs of corn, shucked
olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups onion
1/4 cup flour
1 cup whipping cream
3 cups milk
1 large potato, diced very small
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Roast the corn and make a broth.

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat each of the corn cobs with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast the corn, turning frequently, for about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the corn is cool, remove kernels from cobs.
  4. Put the corn cobs and water in a pan, cover, and put over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.  Cook for 30 minutes. Remove cobs and save broth.

Prepare the soup.

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and stir occasionally until onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add flour and salt.
  3. After about two minutes, add the whipping cream and milk.  Turn the heat to medium-high, and stir for about 2 minutes
  4. Combine this mixture with the corn broth.
  5. Stir in the corn kernels, the potato, and the cheese.  Bring to a boil, then reduce temperature to medium-low.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally until the potato has broken down, at least 20 minutes.
  7. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and/or parsley.

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