Comfort, and a heaping serving of vegetables, all in one bowl. Harvest Corn Chowder takes all the best elements of a late summer harvest and makes a thick, wholesome soup. Perfect for rainy days, cool evenings or the long delayed arrival of spring.
Oh Spring, Where Art Thou?!
While everything around me still bleak and grey, I crave the coming shift of seasons. The buds of the magnolia, held tight all winter long, are slowly unfolding. The tips of the trees are beginning to glow a pale, yellow-hued green and we Canadians imerge, swapping snow shovels for rakes and spades.
Corn Chowder is not a standard spring recipe in my abode. In general I don’t court the off-season produce shipped from South America, but I simply could not resist the temptation of fresh ears of corn.
Simplicity and Technique
It’s a simple recipe that takes advantage of colour and flavour to make a ripe, garden driven chowder. Just chop, cook and enjoy. The trick, in my humble opinion, is the staging of the vegetables in perfect timing so none are mushy or overcooked. Avoiding the use of flour, thickening instead with cornstarch I’ve also kept this recipe gluten-free.
Whether you make Harvest Corn Chowder early taking advantage of the opportunity to clear the larder, or tag this for late summer, as the garden bulges. It’s always a deeply satisfying meal.
- 1 onion
- 2 – 4 carrots
- 6 – 8 small potatoes
- 1 ½ cups cooked smoked ham, cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 2 – 3 ears fresh corn
- ½ sweet pepper, diced
- ½ cup green beans, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- ¼ cup heavy cream (35%)
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- In a large-ish pot over medium heat melt your butter and begin by sweating your onions until semi-transparent (about 2 minutes). Season well with small and pepper then add carrots, potatoes and ham and season with thyme and paprika, tossing to coat. Sweat lightly for about 2 minutes, stirring as needed, adding a touch of vegetable oil if necessary to ensure the pot doesn't burn.
- Add stock and milk, just to cover. Bring to a low boil then immediately reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 6 – 8 minutes stirring frequently, until potatoes are about half cooked.
- Slice corn from the cob, leaving as much of the kernel intake as possible, and add to your chowder base along with pepper and green beans. Simmer for four or five minutes.
- Add cream, taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then bring chowder up to a hard boil over medium-high heat. While pot is coming up in temperature mix cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Once chowder is boiling add cornstarch mix and stir immediately to combine and thicken. Cook at high for about 3 minutes, under constant watch.
- When chowder is thickened turn off heat and stir in zucchini, leaving the pot on the burner. Cover with a tight lid for about 4 minutes then serve.
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