Friday, February 4, 2011

Saturday Potato Corn Chowder

Fast and really warming, this soup can be ready by lunchtime after a morning of sledding with the family or –not again- clearing snow from driveway, cars, roof and walkways.  A hot bowl of chowder is just the thing.  And if you are snowed in, you probably have the ingredients for this recipe on hand.  I’ve been reading a cookbook based on old Amish recipes and this soup is a distillation of recipes from the potato and chicken-corn soups section.

Potato Corn Chowder
Serves 6

Ingredients
4 thin-skinned (eastern) potatoes
2 stalks of celery
2 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt and large pinch black pepper
3-4 cups low-fat milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Method
  1. Peel and rough chop potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.  Dice celery.   
  2. Place potatoes and celery in a large pot with water or broth.   Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender and easily mashed (about 10-12 minutes).  Stir occasionally to prevent potatoes from sticking to bottom of pot.  
  3. Use a hand-help potato masher to create thin mashed potatoes.  (A immersion blender can be used as well but will create a less “rustic” result.)  
  4. Stir in frozen corn, butter, salt, pepper and milk.  Cook over medium-high heat until corn is cooked through.  
  5. Stir in parsley.  Serve plan or with hot sauce,  diced chicken, grated sharp cheddar cheese.  (Also nice with bread and cheese on the side.)

Last summer I bought corn in bulk at the farmers market.  The farm owners taught me to scrape and freeze the uncooked corn so I have plenty of frozen summer corn.  Commercially available frozen corn is fine here of course but check your farmers market next summer to find a farm that offers a similar deal.   Shucking and scraping 50 ears of corn was easier than you’d think and my neighbors made it a kids project. They were done in about an hour.