Fresh Corn Chowder: A Soup to Soothe the Savage Cold

You know fall is coming when you catch your first cold of the season. I spent a good amount of time last week in a daze of Sudafed and cough syrup, wishing that I felt good enough to enjoy the last of the summer sunshine. Instead I spent every night curled up on my couch watching Season 3 of Drop Dead Diva and eating soup.

I probably deserved to get sick since it seems as though I spent all of September running around with barely any time to rest. First came WAG, followed by a weekend in Tacoma and then the next weekend was FEAST. And FEAST brought with it parties, after parties and after-hours after parties, where I ingested entirely too much free champagne. I got a picture with Fergus Henderson while partying at the top of the Wieden+Kennedy building, shook hands with Sean Brock around 2 am at Nostrana and stalked the hell out of April Bloomfield (though I was too shy to approach her).

And then I caught a serious cold. Even though I’m a little sad about that, I have to say two things:

  1. It was totally, absolutely worth it!
  2. The soups I made to aid my recovery were rockin’!

My favorite one was actually a recipe for White Cheddar Corn Chowder that I pulled from a 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living. How I managed to wait five years before making this, I’ll never know but I can say I won’t be waiting another five before making it again!

This will warm you up like any good chowder should, but the freshness of the corn will remind you of summer. It’s a beautiful paradox actually — a soup that speaks of both chilly winter nights and sunny backyard BBQs.

Surprisingly, considering how decadent it tasted, this chowder is also relatively healthy, using nonfat milk instead of cream. It’s even quick to come together. I think it took, from start to finish, about 25 minutes to complete.

The recipe is very basic, calling for a bit of produce (onion, celery, potatoes and fresh corn) and a handful of staples (wine, chicken stock, spices). The only change I made was when simmering the potatoes in the stock, I added the scraped corn cobs for extra corn oomph. Oh and I added a few sprigs of thyme because corn and thyme love each other. They are practically besties.

After the potatoes were tender, I pulled out the cobs and added the corn kernels. They only needed a few minutes on the heat before the soup was done. I pureed a little more than half and added the mixture back to the pot, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper.

It was looking mighty delicious.

But, it needed more goodness!

I added the instructed white cheddar, but felt like it needed just a bit more color and maybe a touch more zing. Since we had some creme fraiche in the fridge, I mixed up a few tablespoons with a hefty squeeze of lime. A dollop of that, plus some sliced green onions and a sprinkling of cayenne and this soup knocked my socks off.

So seriously, you should make this while fresh corn is still at the Farmer’s Markets. It would probably still be decent with frozen corn, but there was just something so *fresh* about this soup that I don’t know if I could recommend trying it that way. Every bite I took mentally transported me from coughing on the couch to soaking up in the sun in a lawn chair. And that’s no easy feat!

4 thoughts on “Fresh Corn Chowder: A Soup to Soothe the Savage Cold

  1. The soup looks great! I also spent the past few days sucking on cough drops, but didn’t get to go to FEAST — which makes me a very sad panda. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Thanks! It was super tasty. I was just lucky (FEAST-wise) that my company was one of the big sponsors so we got tickets to several of the events. Which is all fun and games until you realize you’ve been drinking for about 8 hours straight and have to work the next day. Ugh! Hope you’re feeling better too — I think I’ve finally kicked it. Unfortunately a few people in my office caught it!

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