Summer vegetables are so plentiful right now that it’s almost an overload with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and most of all corn. Corn is at its peak in a lot of states right now, and the sweet Silver Queen, Peaches and Cream, Honey and Cream cobs will soon be just a sweet memory.
So, we’ve been having corn every few meals in our house, and always seem to have a couple of ears left over. I scrape the kernels to use in salads, stir fries, and my favorite, corn chowder. Even though the hot days of summer don’t always bring soups to mind, summery corn chowder is unlike a regular soup. It’s not heavy and rib-sticking like a minestrone, but sweet, light and chock full of flavor.
You can make a chowder from any number of vegetables, and I like to spunk mine up with some cayenne pepper or chopped chilies. This recipe certainly lends itself to using whatever you have in the garden, so feel free to add roasted peppers, roasted eggplant or zucchini. Add some bacon for smokiness (or use grilled corn), chopped fresh sweet bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions as a garnish.
Summery Corn Chowder for two
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cob (can be fresh, already cooked or frozen)
1 T. butter (don’t be tempted to use oil – the butter gives it an unsurpassed flavor)
½ c. chopped onion
1 T. flour
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. water or broth
2 c. potato cut into small cubes
1 c. buttermilk or half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 slice bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1 scallion, sliced
Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
Minced sweet bell pepper
Chopped fresh tomato
In medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter until soft. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add corn, broth and potatoes, turn heat low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in buttermilk or half and half. Pour half of mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and heat gently, not boiling. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your choice of garnishes.