Simple Quintessential Cuisine

Smoky Corn Chowder

For the past several months my husband has been asking me to make homemade corn chowder.  While his request may seem simple enough, this time of the year creates a bit of a challenge. In the northeast  fresh corn on the cob is extremely difficult to come by during the winter, not to mention the additional expense if you do find it. 
That being said I was at the local market earlier this week and amazingly enough I spied some at a very reasonable price.  So tonight I went to work in the kitchen and created a wonderfully creamy corn chowder.  Like some of my other recipes this chowder does have a bit of a kick, but as I’ve shared previously you always have the option of reducing the amount of heat you put in or omitting it all together.  The element that really makes this dish is the smoky corn flavor you get from taking the time to char the ears. Yes, it’s a little more effort, but the flavor you get is more than worth your time!

You will need…
4 ears of corn
1 12 oz pkg of frozen white corn
1 15oz can whole kernel yellow corn
½ C crème fraiche
1 C heavy cream
6 C low sodium chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime
1 C chopped red pepper
1 jalapeno minced with half the seeds removed
2 C chopped leeks
4 garlic cloves
2 large potatoes – diced
6 slices bacon, fully cooked (reserving 3 Tbsp of the fat)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 ¼ tsp salt

Bring grill pan to medium high heat and brush with oil. Place shucked ears of corn in the pan and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side. What you are looking for here is a little char on each side. This gives the corn a great flavor.  Remove the ears from the pan when they become nicely charred on all sides and allow to cool. Next with a sharp knife remove all the kernels from the ears and set aside.

Place a large dutch oven over medium heat and add reserved bacon fat.  To that, add the leeks, red and jalapeno peppers and sauté till the vegetables begin to wilt. Toss in garlic, and reserved corn kernels cooking for 2 minutes more then pour in chicken broth. Add salt and diced potatoes then bring to a simmer.

While the soup is coming to a simmer pour canned corn plus 1 C of the white corn and crème fraiche into a blender. Puree until smooth and then add to the soup and lime juice. Continue cooking until heated through and then add heavy cream, cayenne, remaining white corn and crumble in the bacon.   Bring to a full simmer, and then reduce heat to medium low. 

When serving I added a few sprigs of cilantro to give a little color and of course flavor.

Comments     + Add a Comment
Anne says:

I LOVE corn chowders and soups. This looks amazing! I can only imagine how sweet and rich it tastes! Very nice! : )

Holly Henry says:

Thanks for stopping by Anne :)

carolyn bradford says:

This looks incredible! Will be making it very soon! Thanks for sharing!

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