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Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

Summer Corn Chowder

RAFFL Updates

News, cooking tips, recipes, and more from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link.

Summer Corn Chowder

Steve Peters

corn chowder

corn chowder Sweet, crunchy and slightly rich. It's summer corn time. And when added to this chowder, those flavors are only further enhanced - and not drowned out with cream. With some smart techniques, there's no need for such embellishments or reason to consider corn chowder anything but healthy.

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Stand your cob on top of the small bowl.

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Run your knife down the cob to remove the kernels.

[/wpcol_1half_end]You start by slicing the corn kernels off your cobs. Simplify the process by using the setup pictured here. More details on that in a previous post.

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Then, take those de-kerneled cobs, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to remove their hidden flavor - perhaps as you prep the rest of your ingredients. Though this can always be done ahead of time.

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Meanwhile, chop some onions. You can use an onion, or as many of the recipes I've given out lately include, chives, for a milder flavor.

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Tie a small bunch of thyme together with kitchen string. I really love the flavors of thyme and corn paired together. Don't have time? Try another woody herb. Rosemary or oregano could work. I don't recommend dried thyme, however. I just don't care for the flavor. We're tying it together because we're going to remove it after simmering the soup.

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Chop your potatoes. Larger pieces will take longer to cook, but result in more texture, whereas small pieces may break down into the chowder after cooking.

Now heat a pot over medium high heat - if your cobs have finished simmering you can strain the broth, set it aside, discard the cobs and use the same pot. Then add the onion/chives, thyme and chopped garlic. Salt and cook for a couple of minutes before adding in the potatoes, half of the corn kernels and the corn broth.

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Bring it to a boil and let simmer for a good 20 minutes or so. You don't want a heavy boil, but just so it's gently bubbling. Afterwards, taste, add more salt if needed and continue simmering if the potatoes aren't cooked.

Now for the fun part

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Then add in some chopped tomatoes and the milk. Tomatoes are completely untraditional here, but I like them anyway. I've also enjoyed it will some zucchini as well. Whatever grade of milk you prefer will work - though skim will make it less creamy. I've found that soy milk adds a surprisingly rich flavor without the calories and fat of cream. Add a splash of olive oil or a couple tablespoons of butter if you find it lacking.

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Ladle into bowls and top with fresh green herbs like parsley or basil. Or, if you prefer to use bacon in your chowder, as many do - cooked in the pot before the onion - you could add that crumbled bacon to the top of each bowl. Enjoy.

Don't like chowder? Then how do you enjoy sweet summer corn? Leave a comment!