The calendar may say March but it still feels like soup weather to me! If you're still inclined to partake of warm, nourishing, cozy food, this Corn and Red Pepper Chowder is right up your alley. It's chock full of corn, potatoes, red pepper and comes together in under half an hour, perfect for those rushed weeknight meals!
To me, corn is the quintessential summer veggie and even though you can often find it fresh in the supermarket during winter months, it somehow feels wrong and I never buy it. Yet, we miss it and what's wonderful about this soup is that you can use frozen corn here without sacrificing any flavor.
And it's so easy to make! In a blender, you combine some of the corn with some of the chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth and keep this vegetarian). Then you saute chopped red pepper, shallots and potatoes in a small amount of butter, add back in the corn puree, the remaining broth and another 2 cups of corn and let the whole thing simmer until the potatoes are soft. At the end you stir in the cream and voila! Chowder time!! So full of flavor and textures-- there's the sweetness of the corn, the crunch and tang of the red pepper and the earthy comfort of the potatoes. Serve this with some hot bread or maybe a sandwich and you've got a tasty and easy light dinner.
I feel like I've been a little whiny and negative lately when it comes to the weather (my husband would not limit it to that one category, I'm sure), so in an attempt to keep things positive, let's hope that all this precipitation produces a bumper crop of sweet corn this summer...I am trying so hard to be cheerful, guys!!!!
Corn and Red Pepper Chowder
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
4 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted (you can use fresh but it's really not necessary here)
2 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-2 small potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used 2 small Yukon Gold)
3 large shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. In a blender or food processor, blend 2 cups of the corn with 1 cup of the broth till almost smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat and add red pepper, potato and shallots. Saute for about 5 minutes. Then add in remaining corn, remaining broth and the corn puree. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
3. Soup doubles well and leftovers keep for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: Recipe adapted from an old issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.