No smoky barbecue for us this weekend. With temperatures in the upper nineties, and humidity about the same, it's far too oppressive to be outside for more than a minute or two. So we'll get our smoky goodness in this delicious Corn Chowder from SqWires Restaurant in St. Louis, another recipe from the SPECIAL REQUESTS cookbook. Making soup in the heat of the summer may not strike you as the best choice for the season, but it is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh corn that is beginning to show up at local farm stands. I have tasted a lot of corn chowder recipes, and this beats all of the others hands down. Perfect with a crusty roll and lightly dressed salad, a Cardinal victory will be the sweet dessert.
Smoky Corn Chowder
7 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 slices bacon, diced
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
To make a roux, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook, stirring frequently, until very lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon in remaining 1 tablespoon butter until crisp, about 6 minutes. Add corn, onion, carrot and poblano pepper; saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and chili powder; cook about 2 minutes. Add stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Add cream and potatoes; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Gradually whisk in roux, cooking the soup for a few minutes after each addition, until the soup reaches the desired consistency. (You may not need all of the roux.) Add black pepper and salt to taste.
The best way to remove corn from the cob is with this handy little tool:
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