Saturday, September 10, 2011
Fresh Corn Chowder
Toward the end of summer here in the midwest, the temperatures begin to get cooler and the hope of Autumn fills the air. You can smell it in the breeze and feel the crispness in the evening. We are surprised on our night time walks that dusk comes to us much earlier then just a few weeks ago, rushing home in the quickly darkening night. I am in no hurry for winter, but oh goodness, Autumn could last months and months and months. It could be year long and I would be one happy girl! It is my favorite time of the year. I crave the juicy apples, winter squashes (especially pumpkins!) and the turning of the leaves. There is just something so happy and joyous about fall. It seems like there is just so much FUN to be had! With the fall fests, yummy foods packed with cinnamon and sugar, and lot of maple! Pulling the favorite comfy jeans out of the attic along with those cute boots, playing at the playgrounds for hours instead of squeezing a little time in between the hot sun. Hayrides, family hikes, and not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving- two wonderful family holidays.
This soup is the perfect introduction to Autumn. You get to use the delicious sweet corn your local roadside stand is selling 20 ears for $2. And the thyme is in full abundance in the garden. But you also get to have a nice pot of creamy, invitingly warm soup that gets you in the mood to snuggle on the couch with an afghan and a good book. You get the best of both worlds in one delicious bowl.
The recipe calls for a crock pot, but a Dutch oven works nicely and quickly if you want to hurry the process along. A simple stock pot is also fine, just increase your cooking time to about an hour to an hour and a half, checking the potatoes for tenderness. They should turn nice and slightly creamy when the soup is done.
Fresh Corn Chowder
recipe adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly by Phyllis Pellman Good
4 large ears of fresh corn on the cob (1 lb bag of frozen corn can also be used in the cooler months)
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups of potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups water, divided
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 Tablespoons flour
3 cups fat-free milk
Combine 1 cup of water with the remaining ingredients except the flour and milk. Cook in a crock pot on low for 6 hours, or until potatoes are tender. You can also use a dutch oven or a heavy stock pot, cooking the chowder for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Once the potatoes are nice and tender, mix the flour and milk together and whisk until smooth. Stir into the chowder very slowly, a little at a time until thickened. Add in the additional 1 cup of water (or more) to achieve the thickness you prefer your chowder. (I found one additional cup of water to be perfect). Serve with garlic toast or nice bread and butter. This is a great "dunking" soup.