With Minnesota’s short growing season, it’s best to savor corn at its peak, and instead of corn-on-the-cob, why not try making some soup out of the summer staple? Chowder is perfect for a cold, wintry evening, but the delicious sweet corn that has been tempting you from the road-side stands this summer calls for a session of turning up the stove one summer evening.
The original recipe has curry in it, but I am not a huge curry fan (it has to be cooked right to find favor with me), so I substituted with thyme to make sure it had enough flavor. It was a great swap! When I first started cooking with recipes, I always followed instructions to the very last measurement, but have since learned to experiment. Feel free to take out, add in whatever ingredients you desire. Happy summer!
P.S. “It’s chow-dah! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill all of you!”
Serves 4-5 people
1 cup milk
fried bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
To make the croutons:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Smash the garlic into a paste with the salt. Mix in olive oil, and coat the pumpernickel bread cubes with mixture. Bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
To make the chowder:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Cook garlic and onions in olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, approximately 16-18 minutes. Next, stir in chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and add in thyme. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and continue cooking. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with a tablespoon and a half of cold water. (No need for exact measurements on the water, but an FYI: corn starch will make your soup lumpy if you just add it in to a hot pot unless you temper it with cold water.)
Add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Taste to see if you prefer more salt.
Once the cheese melts, the chowder is ready to serve with the croutons and bacon pieces.