Farmers Market Week: Potato-Corn Chowder

I found some beautiful white corn at our Farmer's Market over the weekend. I plan on using it for an unbelievably delicious chowder that my friend Heather made the last time I was at her house.  She gave me a copy of the recipe which is from Fields of Greens vegetarian cookbook. The sweetness of the chowder comes from the corn stock that you'll make ahead of time. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of butter which I'm omitting because of Jasper's dairy allergy, rendering my version vegan.  I'm excited to serve this tonight as it'll just be me and the boys and corn and potatoes are their favorites.   

Potato-Corn Chowder

from Fields of Greens

7 cups corn stock (see recipe below)

5 ears of corn, shaved, about 5 cups

1 lb of new or white rose potatoes cut into cubes

Salt and white pepper

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp unsalted butter (I'm subbing with extra olive oil) 

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 celery rib, diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Make the stock and keep it warm over low heat

Set aside 2 cups of shaved corn, then place the rest in a soup pot with half the potatoes and 2 cups of stock, 1/2 tsp of salt, and a few pinches of white pepper.  Bring the potatoes and corn to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes begin to break apart, 20-30 minutes. Puree the corn and potatoes with 1-2 cups stock in a blender or food processor, then pass the puree through a food mill.  Return the puree to the soup pot, add 3 cups of stock and the bay leaves, and cook over low heat.  

Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauce pan, add the onions, dried herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, and a pinch of white pepper.  Saute over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are soft.  Add the garlic, celery, reserved dice potatoes, and reserved corn.  Saute until the vegetables are tender, another 7-8 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the pan is almost dry.

Stir the sauteed vegetables into the corn and potato puree and add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook the soup over low heat for 20 minutes.  Stir in the basil just before serving.

Makes 8-9 cups

Corn Stock

Shaved corn cobs, broken into halves or thirds

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 medium-size potato, sliced

1 celery rib, sliced

5 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped

5 garlic cloves, in their skin, crushed with the side of a knife blade

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp peppercorns

9 cups cold water

Combine all of the ingredients in a stockpot.  Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Pour the stock through a strainer, press as much liquid as you can from the vegetables, and discard them.

Makes about 7 cups