Roasted Corn Chowder

September 23, 2010

It always amazes me when it is fresh corn season, how many people still buy corn in a grocery store. It seems to me that no matter where you live, access to fresh corn during the dog days of summer is a gift from God and should be embraced.

Withered, anemic looking ears piled high in bins in the grocery produce aisle is just not worth buying because they spend too much time between storage and shipping to really taste anywhere near fresh.

I encourage you to stop at the first corn stand or farmers market near you and buy some real corn. Have fun shucking the ears and hearing them squeak as you do, a tell tale sign that this is fresh from farm to table good. Dried out ears don’t make a sound. I love corn plain and fancy. Try this delicious corn chowder made from roasting the corn first. Summer just doesn’t get any better than when the corn is high!

Roasted Corn Chowder
Makes 2 quarts

5 ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma or Canadian bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red sweet bell pepper,diced
2 medium red skin potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
2 small zucchini, diced
1 cup cooked green beans, cut into thirds
1/4 cup diced parsley
Salt to taste
Grinding black pepper
1 cup non-fat half/half

Make a single layer of corn on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Crimp the ends closed. Place the packet on a preheated grill and cook the corn for about 3 minutes before turning the packet over and cooking the other side another 3 minutes. Use a small knife to poke through the foil into an ear of corn. If tender, remove the packet carefully and allow to cool. Then cut the kernels off the cob and set them aside.

Place the cobs in a soup pot and cover them with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Strain and set the broth aside.

Return the soup pot to the flame and add the olive oil. Over medium heat, saute’ the bacon and onions until both are soft. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic begins to soften. Add the red peppers, potatoes and zucchini and stir the ingredients well. Pour in 2 cups of the reserved broth, and add salt and pepepr to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and pour in the half/half, corn kernels, parsley, and green beans. Mix everything well and cook gently for 3 or 4 minutes. Test for seasoning. Serve hot.

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