This particular version of corn chowder is pretty spicy, if you are me and thus put in lots of cayenne and mustard powder. John was surprised when he tasted it, as it looks all mild and creamy. Aha, not so. But you can just reduce the spices to your own taste, so that's all ok. It is totally easy and totally delicious AT THE SAME TIME!
I made 2 bowls' worth, but feel free to double or triple or whatever.
- 1/2 tbsp or so of butter.
- 1 yellow onion, diced.
- 1 yukon gold potato, cubed.
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted under hot water (or fresh, or canned--whatever is available).
- Spices: cayenne, superfine mustard, thyme, sage, some fresh (flat, Italian) parsley, salt and black pepper.
- 1 cup of broth (or water).
- 1 cup of milk or cream. I used skim milk.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. While it's melting, chop up your onion and potato. The two should be roughly the same volume, although you could use more potato if you want. Whatever. When the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté. Add some of your spices, so as to get them all toasty. Use a couple good shakes of cayenne and superfine mustard, a bit less thyme, and barely a pinch of sage. Sauté it all up until it's lovely and fragrant and the onions are translucent.
Add the potatoes and the corn and continue to sauté. The corn should have some liquid in and around it, due to defrosting and etc., so turn the heat up to full medium or medium-high and cook your chowder in just that little bit of liquid for a while. When it's mostly evaporated, add your stock or water, chopped fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. I personally feel that this soup can use all the fresh cracked black pepper it can get, but use your judgement. Taste and see if you want to adjust any of the other spices, then bring to a boil. You want enough stock or water to cover the vegetables, but no more, as you're going to cook some of the moisture off to make room for milk later. Simmer covered for ten minutes or so, until the potatoes are pretty well cooked but not falling apart. Then take off the cover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, to reduce the liquid.
When things are looking sufficiently reduced and chunky, i.e. a bit dry, add your milk or cream and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat a bit, and leave the pan to cook a little longer while you do the dishes. Traditionally, you are not supposed to boil milk, right? I let mine boil last night, and it turned out fine. When everything is heated sufficiently, and at your preferred soup texture, taste for last-minute seasoning and take off the heat.
Serve with some good wheat bread, toasted and buttered or not, and a glass of milk or cold water. I liked it fine with milk. The toast provides a nice textural contrast to the soft, squidgy soup. It's especially nice as a hot meal on a dismal rainy day, with all the hot soup and hot toast and I suppose tea or coffee if you so desire.
Now I am hungry. I accidentally ate the second bowl last night so I didn't have any to bring for lunch today. Try not to do this.