Dinner of the Week: Fresh Corn Chowder

It’s been awfully chilly in the mountains the past few weeks, and certainly feels more like late September than mid-August.  Therefore, I’ve been craving a lot of comfort food.  One of my favorites is corn chowder, and I searched online for a healthier version of this timeless soup.  I made a few twists off of one inspired by SimplyRecipes.com, and though it took an hour to make, it was easy and delicious.  It tastes even better the second day!

Fresh Corn Chowder
Courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com

– 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
– 3 ears of fresh sweet corn
– 1/3 cup chopped carrots
– 1/3 cup chopped celery
– 1 jalapeno, diced
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– 1 medium Russet potato, peeled and chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
– 3 1/2 cups skim milk
– Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
First, rinse and chop the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeno.

Then, remove the kernels from the corn cobs.  (Save these cobs for later!)  Wash, peel, and chop the potato, as well.  Place the potatoes in a bowl full of water so they won’t brown.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped carrots and celery to the pan and cook for five minutes.

Break the corn cobs in half and add them to the saucepan.  Add the milk and bay leaf.  Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to make it as low as possible.  Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.

After cooking, discard the cobs and bay leaf.  Raise the heat, add the potatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork.

Add the corn kernels and fresh thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low, and simmer for five minutes.  Serve immediately.

We served this with a side of fresh and hot crusty bread.  I think the fresh sweet corn really made the difference here; I now know to avoid canned or frozen corn for similar recipes.  The soup was sweet but had a surprising kick, too!  The potatoes helped thicken it without making it feel heavy or unhealthy.  

I will certainly be making this again, and I hope you’ll give it a try, as well!
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