Friday, November 6, 2009

Corn Chowder

It all started because I had forgotten that my husband had bought corn ears at the market!!!  The ears were not fresh enough to eat them on the cob, so I decided to make Corn Chowder instead. French people eat a lot of soups but we are not used to eating milk-based soups. I discovered Clam Chowder while working in California for a company based out of Cambridge, Ma. On a professional trip to the East Coast, we had clam chowder and I liked it immediately despite the clams (I eat oysters but somehow don't like clams that much)...
I tried Corn chowder back in California...and as I was wondering what I was going to do with these corn ears, I just thought that it would be nice to make this soup. I had all the ingredients so I gave it a try. The result was really good (my husband and I liked it a lot); my children were not that enthusiastic about it. I pureed it for them so that they would not have to chew on all the vegetables...they did finish it but it's definitively not their favorite dish. Because we had a long talk about the soup, I ended up quizzing them (at least my elder) about their favorite dishes... Here is the list:  1) Bagel sandwich with smoked salmon and capers; 2) Spinach linguini a la bolognese (my husband made it for them while I was gone) 3) Fish fingers! Pff... there are days when I wonder why I try to cook at all!! Bon Appétit!

 Ingredients (4 servings)

- 1 strip of bacon, cut in small pieces (none required for the vegetarian version)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, minced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- Fresh ears of corn, kernels removed from the cobs
- 3 1/2 cups(800ml) milk
- 1 medium potato, pealed and diced
- Red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Fresh Thyme
  • In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat
  • When the bacon fat is released, add the onion and saute in bacon fat (you can use olive oil if you make it vegetarian)
  • Add the carrots, celery stalks,and corn kernels, saute for 5 minutes
  • Pour milk, add fresh thyme and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and red bell pepper and cook until potatoes are cooked (8-10 minutes)
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste.

My Personal Comments
  • You could use frozen corn kernels if you don't have fresh corn available (or to save time)
  • You can vary the amount of vegetables according to your liking. I had a lot of celery, so I added a lot that day.
  • You could cook this soup for a long time if you needed to; just make sure the milk never boils and stir in regularly so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot
  • I use low-fat milk but you could use whole milk if you wanted it a little bit thicker.

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