As I noted in my Lentils Monastery post, part of my plans this year with the blog are to cook the recipes that my mother left for me. With the start of spring, I figured it was time for corn chowder! When reading her recipe however, I realized that she forgot to add a liquid base to the recipe card. So, I have gone to the sources that I think she would have trusted the most (Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 1968 edition, and The New Basics Cookbook), and re-read their recipes for some guidance.
Growing up in New England, corn chowder was something that we often had for dinner, and something that all of my friend’s parents cooked in their own unique ways. There are so many ways to jazz up corn chowder, but this simple version has my heart. Cream can indeed make this soup quite decadent, but I’ve found that milk and fresh sweet corn do the trick.
When cooking this tonight I finally realized why my mother always bought extra ears of corn, cut every morsel off the cob, placed it in bags, and lined the back of our freezer. I had to use frozen corn today and it really didn’t stand up to the depth of corn flavor within her chowder. Also, I love the trick I note below of using the cobs to create a quick corn broth rather than chicken stock! I will be sure to try that next time.
- 1 cup of diced onion
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups of cubed russet potatoes
- 3 1/2 cups of corn (ideally fresh off the cob)
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 4 teaspoons of flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- Red pepper flakes
Steps and Notes:
- Cook the onion in a soup pot until translucent
- Add the broth and potatoes, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes
- Add the corn and celery, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes
- The original recipe only called for 10 more minutes, but my potatoes werent yet soft, so I kept it on for another 5
- In a side bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Then, whisk in the milk
- Mom always used 1 Teaspoon of cornstarch here instead of the flour.
- Combine this mixture to the soup and cook until the soup is “slightly thick and bubbly” then simmer for another minute.
- Remove from the heat and top with a bit more salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Thoughts for Next Time:
- Cook with cream instead of milk,
- Top the chowder with crumbled bacon and green onions
- Make a quick 10 minute corn stock (as noted in The Food Lab) which also is a great way to utilize food which may otherwise go to waste