Saturday, May 10, 2008

Corn Chowder with Baby Yellow Potatoes

Corn Chowder
Roasted yellow corn and potato chunks in a buttery, golden, cilantro-scented broth with bits of red and green makes a very pretty presentation. It is a perfect soup for a large group as the recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc. and the roasting of all the vegetables eliminates the constant stirring and watching of the pot. Last December I made it for about 150 people and the soup came out very well. I usually make a double batch so everyone can have plenty and still have some leftover for another meal since the soup tastes even better the next day!

You don't have to wait for fresh corn season to make this soup as the frozen corn kernels work just fine and saves time with prep work too!

If you are lactose intolerant or a vegan, substitute oil and any non-dairy milk for the butter and cream respectively; you may wish to reduce the amount of water a little too (by about 1 cup) and increase the amount of the non-dairy milk so the soup is rich-tasting. Try this corn chowder recipe which is gluten and dairy-free!

Serves 6


1 lb package frozen corn kernels or use about 5 large ears of fresh corn
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 large Red Bell Pepper, chopped
4 or 5 sprigs Fresh Thyme or 1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cumin Seeds, freshly ground
1 lb Baby Yellow or any Potatoes
5 cups water
Kosher or Sea Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne or more to taste
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup half and half (Light Cream)
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
Chives, Parsley, OR Green Onions, chopped (for garnish)


If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cob. Then carefully scrape against the cob with the blunt side of the knife to extract the milky juices. Set aside separately.

Wash the potatoes well and drain; it is not necessary to peel. Cut the potatoes into bite sized chunks.

Toss together the corn kernels (fresh or frozen), 2 or 3 thyme sprigs, onions, bell peppers, and the potatoes with 1/2 tsp coarse salt and a Tbsp of the unsalted butter and roast in a buttered or oiled baking pan until lightly browned, about 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Stir the veggies 2 or 3 times during roasting to cook evenly.

Heat butter in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch Oven or a large pot. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly browned and fragrant. Stir in 2 cups of the water slowly while whisking so that lumps do not form.

Stir in turmeric, cumin, cayenne, and half the roasted corn - potato mixture. Add 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes; coarsely mash with a potato masher. Now add the rest of the potatoes and the roasted corn, remaining thyme sprigs and corn juices if using fresh corn. Use the remaining 1 cup of water to deglace (collect the baked on bits and juices) the roasting pan and add to the chowder. Bring to a boil again. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

Stir in the cream and the cilantro. You may substitute parsley for the cilantro. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper as needed.

Serve hot with a little parsley, green onions or chives sprinkled on top. Awesome served with warm corn muffins or quesadillas :)!

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