It’s What’s Cooking Wednesday
When you live in corn country, you have to have a corn recipe or two up your sleeve. And when you have the very best corn stand in the county in your very own town and a giant zucchini someone gave you sitting on your counter, you make a delicious Creamy Corn Chowder loaded with fresh veggies and a little bacon, let’s not forget bacon, for What’s Cooking Wednesday.
Sweetest Corn Ever
“Sweet corn Charlie!!!!” excitedly exclaims my 5-year-old grandson anytime he comes in and sees corn sitting on the counter. Corn season is a season we all get excited about, but this boy is downright giddy!
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Sweet Corn Charlie is a local farm known for growing the sweetest corn I have ever tasted. It barely needs butter and a little salt and it’s perfect right off the grill. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods in Middlebury, Indiana in the summer, stop by a farmstand that sits right across the road from the Das Dutchman Essenhaus, where you can eat Amish chicken and noodles to your heart’s content. We’re all about eating around here. 😉
I cut the char-grilled corn off the cob and freeze it for use during the winter. We love to pull a bag out of the freezer and have it with Mr. Dimples favorite meal. And, it’s a sweet treat in a smokey chili recipe on a cold winter night.
However, for this summer chowder, you don’t even need to cook the corn beforehand. Easy-peasy!
It’s hard to see in this photo because I used a clear glass bowl, but *cutting corn off the cob is made easier by turning a small bowl upside down inside a larger dish. Rest the corn-on-the-cob on top of the bowl and cut corn will fall into the reservoir and keep your knife from hitting the side of the larger bowl
*I probably use this one knife for 90% of my culinary cutting jobs. I know, how Raechel Ray of me. 😉 The other 10% of the kitchen blade work is done with paring knives and miscellaneous specialty cutting tools like mandolines and graters. Just in case you wanted to know.
Soup for Summer
In the summer, creamy corn chowder, laden with fresh vegetables is perfect for lunch. Or, pair it with a juicy heirloom tomato sandwich for an Almost Meatless Monday supper. That’s what we did – except once again, if I have a choice, I never skip the bacon!
This lightened-up version of a cream soup gets its creaminess by removing some of the soup after cooking, creaming it with a food processor or immersion blender (I use this one) and adding it back to the pot. (Similar to this fresh Asparagus Soup) It’s really that simple!
Make It Your Own Way
To “beef-up” this corn chowder you could add little cooked chicken breast. (Did you think I was going to say beef?) 😉 But I think it would be heavenly with a bit of fresh, lump crab meat and Old Bay Seasoning. What can I say, I grew up in Maryland, adding crab meat is what we do! 😉
This creamy corn chowder is a delicious alternative to a can of Campbell’s and if you can chop vegetables and boil water, you’ve already got the skills to make it.
Are you enjoying What’s Cooking Wednesdays and have you made any of the recipes yet? I can’t wait to hear what you think and how you’ve made them your own.
Tell me true…
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- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2-4 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion, about 1/2 large onion
- 2 celery ribs, chopped (1/3 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled + chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 medium (1 lb.) russet potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 cups water (or veggie stock)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ears of sweet fresh corn, husk + silk removed and kernels cut from cob (2 3/4 cup corn)
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes, (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup half and half
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
- cayenne pepper or paprika, to serve, optional
- In a large heavy-duty bottom stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat and begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and *thyme; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring couple times, about 5 minutes. *If using dried time add it when you add the broth.
- Add potatoes, water, and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
- Add zucchini and corn; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for additional 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or bowl for immersion blender; puree until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add half and half and cook just until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley and sprinkle of cayenne pepper or paprika, optional.
- If you're using leftover bacon, use a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or saved bacon grease to sautee vegetables.
- Chicken and a bit of sage for seasoning
- Fresh lump crab meat and Old Bay Seasoning