Corn is a little bit like zucchini in that if you are growing it and you have it ‘coming out your ears’ you may run out of ways to cook it. I know that a few times over the summer we bring in a huge haul of ears to shuck, eat right away, and freeze for later.
One of our family favorites has always been corn chowder. I love corn chowder because it is so versatile and hearty. Add meat, lumped lobster or crab, blue cheese or feta, or diced fresh veggies on top. What I don’t like about chowder is that it can really pack a caloric and fatty punch.
Last summer I decided to make my usual recipe except this time leaving out of the milk/cream, most of the flour and almost all of the butter. What I got was a rich chowder that gets its body from pureed corn. The base of this soup has an intense corn flavor that I got from using what most would throw out: the boiling water and the cobs.
Corn Cob Corn Chowder
- 8 large ears of corn, cooked with kernels cut off
- boiling water from corn, keep hot
- 1 cob, after you have cut the kernels off
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet onion
- drizzle of olive oil for pot
- 1 small can of chicken stock (you can use broth but I like the body of stock)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish: cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, fresh veggies, blue cheese, lobster, crab or other meats
- To a heavy soup pot add the olive oil, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent. Add the butter and flour to form a light 'roux'. When this is incorporated but not brown, add the broth. Stir until it is a nice little base.
- Add all but a handful of the kernels to the pot. (I reserve some to throw in at the end for texture.) Add the cob to the pot as well. (It gives a little more 'corn' flavor and helps make the soup creamier.)
- Add two ladles of boiling water from the corn pot. (Why use regular water when you can use this wonderful boiling water? I didn't want to waste it!) Let this simmer on a low setting for a while, or if you are crunched for time, raise the temperature, stirring often. Boil for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cob and puree the contents of the pot.
- Add in the extra kernels and any amount of boiling liquid you feel you need to get the desired consistency. Just before serving, add the chopped chives.