Summer Corn Chowder

corn chowder

Summertime is all about the backyard barbecue and grilling practically anything, from meats to vegetables and fruit. Grilled corn has always been a summer mainstay at my house. Summer just is not complete without eating tender grilled sweet corn on the cob while sitting outside in lawn chairs and watching the sun go down. For me it's no butter or salt but just corn au naturel. How do you like to eat your corn?

My second favorite way to enjoy corn is in a chowder. There is no better way to utilize leftover grilled corn than in a hearty soup. This Southwestern-style corn chowder combines colorful bell peppers, starchy potatoes, a jalapeño for some kick, and a bit of cream for extra richness. It's a recipe that you will want to come back to time and again. You might even find yourself grilling corn just to make the chowder. Enjoy the golden vegetable while it's in season.

With so many different ways to grill corn, here is what I think is the easiest method. First start with very fresh corn. To prepare the corn for grilling, soak the ears, with husks on, in cold water for about an hour. Then wrap them in aluminum foil. Grill the corn on low heat for 30 minutes, rotating the parcels now and then to make sure all sides are grilled. You will have perfectly grilled corn that is tender, moist, and concentrated in its sweetness.

Summer Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
3 cups chicken stock
4 ears grilled sweet corn, sliced from the cob
1 cup heavy cream
bacon, for garnish

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook for a few minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add thyme, potatoes, and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add corn and cream. Return to a simmer for a few minutes more. Check for seasoning. Garnish with bacon. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.