This summer my addiction to corn has reached new heights. I've eaten so much corn this season I'm pretty sure I'm single-handedly supporting the local farmers. I've had friends from the past and co-workers emailing me corn recipes (all of which look delicious). The old lady who sells corn at the end of her farm's driveway has become my new best friend.
When I lived in France, I craved corn something fierce. Maybe it was my Indiana roots calling me. Or perhaps it's because so many French people see corn as only a salad topping or feed for the pigs. I've since made up for losing those 3 years of daily corn.
Summer and hot soup don't really seem to go together. However, there is nothing better than farm-fresh sweet corn in a steaming bowl of Corn Chowder on a stormy night. We pair it with a crusty baguette (but then again we pair almost everything with bread). This chowder is thick and rich and very corny. So many chowders are overwhelmed by potato flavor, but not this one. The trick is (gasp!) pureeing canned corn and adding in fresh from-the-cob corn for the, well, fresh corn flavor. You'll also use the naked cobs to thicken the chowder.
6 ears corn
2 (15 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained (I like Libby's Organic)
5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
5 slices center-cut bacon (or 3 regular)
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and diced 1/2-inch
1 c. heavy cream
4 scallions, sliced thin
Cut kernels from cobs. An easy way to do this is to cut off one end, set the cob upright, and carefully slice kernels off. Keep both the kernels and cobs.
Puree the cans of corn in a blender with 2 cups of chicken broth until smooth.
Cook bacon in Dutch oven until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Cook onion, corn kernels, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the bacon grease until softened and golden.
Add potatoes, corn puree, remaining 3 cups broth, and cobs to Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and throw away cobs. Stir in cream, scallions, and bacon. Season to taste.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Country June/July 09