Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Summery Corn Chowder with Coriander
Corn hating makes me sad. Yes it may be partially responsible for the fattening of America (corn syrup) but it's also the most summery vegetable of them all. The two go hand in hand. It's even the color of summer. And in my opinion, a barbecue isn't a barbecue without a cilantro-buttered cob or two.
This soup is further proof that cilantro and corn were meant to be together. It's creamy (yikes! I hate that word! I must need coffee...), slightly sweet, and spicy all at the same time. I could eat it by the bucket full, even at the risk of being described as 'corn fed'.
PS - this soup gets better as it sits in the fridge. I suggest making it the day before a dinner party then reheating it to serve as a first course.
Creamy Corn Chowder with Cilantro and Cayenne
* Can be made vegetarian if you sub vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
* Yes I used frozen corn instead of fresh b/c I was in a hurry. Feel free to cut the kernels off two fresh cobs as a replacement.
1 tablespoon butter
dash olive oil
1 small/medium Vidalia or Spanish onion, chopped
1 small/medium yellow squash, chopped into smallish dice
pinch white pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 large garlic clove, or 2 small minced
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 green onions, rinsed and cut in half
1/3 cup half and half
extra dash of white pepper
Heat the olive oil and butter in a dutch oven (large, heavy lidded pot) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, until it's begun to soften. Add in the squash and season with the coriander, cayenne (you can add more if you're a heat addict), and cumin. Saute, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. At this point, if any of the onions or veg don't look completely soft and cooked through, put the lid on to speed things up leaving it on for a few minutes. Add in the corn, stock and green onions and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for about a minute, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes on low.
Kill the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Remove the green onions and discard, then use an immersion blender to blend everything up and make it smooth. Stir in the half and half and a dash more white pepper and serve garnished with chopped fresh jalapeno and cilantro leaves.