This recipe is adapted from one in Mollie Katzen's cookbook classic The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Ten Speed Press, 1982, new edition 1995), a treasure of vegetarian recipes. It is thick and rich and brimming with vegetables and flavor. You can substitute milk for the cream (or evaporated milk, as does Mollie) if you'd like a thinner soup. Use Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Basil Broth for stock, instead of water, and you will be well rewarded. This is absolutely fantastic, as a first course or entrée!
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup minced celery
1 cup red bell pepper, minced
4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (4-6 cobs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Basil Broth or water
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
In a medium-sized saucepan, cook the onions in the butter over medium-low heat, stirring. After 3-5 minutes, add celery and keep cooking. Five minutes later add the red peppers and corn kernels.
Add the salt, black pepper, thyme, and basil, stir well, and cover. Reduce heat and let it cook 5 minutes.
Add the stock or water. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Using a blender or food processor, puree about half the solids in some of the soup's own liquid.
A few minutes before serving, add the cream (or milk). Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it gently and serve.
Leftovers, if there are any, keep in the refrigerator for several days. Thin out the chowder with a small amount of additional milk, if desired.
Yield: 5 cups
Jamie Stolper is the ShalomBoston.com Food Editor.
Fresh Corn Chowder