Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week 14: Creamy Corn Chowder, Without the Cream

The Programmer and I have spent much of the past couple of weeks reconfiguring office spaces. The process has been akin to an archaeological expedition: We’re unearthing files and mementos that haven’t seen the light of day in several years. Just this week I came across cute letters from the kids, preschool-era photos, printouts of work emails from employers that no longer exist, a techie parody of The Hollow Men, and a raft of editing-related cartoons clipped from various newspapers.

What does this have to do with working through our CSA stash? Not much directly, but after spending hours sorting, tossing, and moving all of this stuff, I’ve had to contend with (a) limited time in the kitchen and (b) a strong desire for comfort food. Both of these conditions led me to pull together this week’s recipe, a quick and satisfying soup that makes good use of late-summer corn.

Creamy Corn Chowder, Without the Cream
(Inspired by a USA Weekend recipe)

6 ears corn, husked
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 pound new potatoes, diced
3 cups water
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cut the kernels from 3 ears of corn, and scrape the cobs with the back of your knife to release any liquid. Puree the kernels and liquid in a food processor and set aside. You should have about 2 cups of corn puree.

Remove the kernels from the remaining 3 ears of corn and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and cut corn kernels (but not the puree), and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the pureed corn, diced potatoes, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer, partially covered, 12 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and the flavors blend.

Stir in the parsley. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve hot. Serves 4 to 6.

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