It was 4 o’clock on a very warm, very summery afternoon. I was walking barefoot across the cool kitchen floor. Country music playing softly in the background.
Dad came in after a very long, very stressful day at work and plopped a large brown bag on the table with the same satisfaction as if he had just caught some meat out back.
“What’s that?” Maybe I was expecting a puppy to pop out. Or maybe that’s just my hopeless fixation on wanting a dog in my life.
“Corn.” Dad stated the obvious, as the green leaves started to shyly poke their heads out, as soon as the bag had settled. Dad had been talking about buying some corn for weeks. There is a farmers market nearby that throws away any and all corn that hasn’t been bought the very SAME day that it was picked. Fresh, fresh, fresh.
“What are we going to do with it?” I asked.
Dad looked perplexed. Oh. Right. Silly me.
Eat it raw and crunchy.
Or eat it grilled, letting the butter dribble down your chin.
Eat it shaved in your taco salad.
Or. Make a soup, a stew, a chowder. The real question is, what can you not do with corn?
I’ve been wanting to make a batch of Farmer’s Market Chowder ever since I saw it featured on the cover of Vegetarian Times. The thought of roasting everything before it was added to the chowder, while letting the corn cobs steep in the milky broth had me swooning.
Corn is good in any way you decide to use it. The important thing is to use it now, while it’s still young and fresh. Preferably in the company of all kinds of other farm fresh produce.
And that is exactly what we did with this big brown bag of corn. I popped off my flip-flops (or flip-flaps, as Memere would have said,) and settled right down to bowl of Farmer’s Market Chowder. Because that’s what you do with corn.
Farmer’s Market Chowder—slightly modified from the original version as seen in Vegetarian Times Magazine.
This soup has a lot of steps, but it comes together relatively quickly if you’re able to start one step while the other one is still cooking. Also, don’t feel that you need to be strict with this recipe. You can easily substitute any of the vegetables (aside from the corn, of course) for another. Sweet potatoes were used in the original recipe and you can easily substitute any type of herb for the basil and chives. Enjoy!
- 5 large ears corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved
- 2-1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, plus 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3 cups chopped sweet onions
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 12 oz. red skinned potatoes, diced
- 1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Combine corn kernels, milk and crushed garlic in saucepan. Run back of knife down cobs to release milk and pulp into saucepan, add cobs to pan. Bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat, and let steep.
- Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and paprika and cook 30 seconds. Stir in vegetable broth and cook 30 seconds. Add 4 cups water and remove pot from heat.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, saute 8 minutes or until browned; transfer to Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet, add green beans, and saute 3 minutes. Transfer beans to plate.
- Bring mixture in Dutch oven to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Add green beans, and cook 4 minutes more.
- Remove corn cobs from milk mixture and discard. Stir milk mixture, basil and chives into chowder. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sprinkle with additional herbs for garnish, and enjoy!