Summer is not my favorite season. But without a second house somewhere in the northern climes, I must endure heat and humidity from May through September.
There are a few good things that I do appreciate – tomatoes, basil, and zinnias. Lots of zinnias to add color to my house. They make me happy.
Although I don’t grow it myself, corn is readily available from local farms, and I’ve really come to appreciate the humble corn on the cob since living in the Midwest.
Which brings me to this simple corn chowder that I made with extra corn I had on hand.
Corn and Chicken Chowder
1 small chicken
4 cobs of corn
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups, approximately, chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
Poach the chicken using basic ingredients, like onion, celery, carrots, and bay leaves. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the chicken from the broth and let cool. If you need a tutorial on poaching chicken, check out Poached Chicken if you’ve never done this before.
Strain the broth and cook the corn in it. Remove the corn and let cool.
If you have lots of broth leftover, let it reduce gently on the stove.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion, red bell pepper and celery, and saute for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, and after about 30 seconds, add 2 cups of broth, and then the cream. Let the mixture cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.
At that time, remove the meat from the chicken bones, then add it to the soup.
To add the corn, simply hold the corn cobs on the edge of the pot, and using a small knife, cut parallel to the cobs, cutting the kernels loose.
Stir the soup well, and add the seasoning. Taste for salt and pepper.
If you wanted to make a Southwestern soup, you could add cumin, coriander, a little ancho chile paste or green chiles, maybe chorizo, and lots of fresh cilantro. Normally this is what I would have done, since my tastes tend toward a spicier direction.
I use thyme a lot in fall and winter cooking, and I probably decided to use it in this soup because I’m subconsciously wishing it was cooler outside!
Oh well, only one more hot month to go. And I still have my zinnias.
note: You could also add cooked potatoes to this soup, or include white beans, even with the chicken. Heartier and healthier!