Grilled Corn Chowder
Created by: Bananasforbourbon
Like my grandmother before me, I have a total thing for soup. I just love it. It’s warm and comforting during any season, it’s simple and easy to make, and just about any combination of ingredients can be a soup. The world is your oyster soup! Also, it’s pretty darn healthy. Did you know studies have shown that starting a meal off with soup makes you some very scientific percentage less likely to overeat? Basically, since it’s usually water based (stock), you feel like you’re eating a lot when you’re not. Works for me!
This summer I discovered the sweet, caramelized flavor that you get from cooking corn over an open flame, and it has been a love affair ever since. Letting the corn cook in their husks over an open flame infuses a deep, rustic corn flavor into the kernels, and using the leftover cobs to simmer with the Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth really rounds out the flavor. There is no doubt that corn is the star of this soup! With the help of herbs and spices to punch up the flavor, and roasted cauliflower and milk to lighten the soup to a beautifully silky texture, this dish is not your typical corn chowder. It is elevated to something much, much yummier.
Cook Time:PT1H30M1 hr, 30 min
Prep Time:PT0M0 min
- 4 ears of corn (in their husks!)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 Teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 1 large russet potato, diced
- 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 Teaspoon celery salt (optional)
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
- 2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
- 2 Cups dry sherry (or white wine)
- 4-5 Cups Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
- 1/4 Cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1/2 Cup whole milk
1/2 Cup cilantro, finely chopped
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To grill the corn:
- Over medium heat, place the corn (in their husks!) on the grill, directly over the heat. Turn the corn every 2-3 minutes, when the husks begin to blacken. The silk or ends of the husks might catch fire as they dry out. I think this adds an amazing smoky flavor to the corn, but if you’re scared, just make sure to trim those bits off before you put them on the grill.
- When the husks are good and charred and the kernels are mostly cooked, remove the corn from the grill and place it in a pan or bowl you have standing by until it cools down a bit. Carefully peel back and remove the husks, watching out for any trapped hot steam. Place the naked ears back on the grill and turn every 1-2 minutes, or until as many kernels as possible have browned and caramelized. Brown = sweet flavor!
- Remove the corn from the grill, and when it is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob. Scrape the back of your knife along the cob to really get all the creamy corn bits out of there. Set the kernels aside, and reserve the empty cobs as well (don’t throw them away!).
To make the soup:
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and shallots in 1 TB of olive oil and 1 Teaspoon of salt until they are soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook another 3 minutes, until softened. Add the potato and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining Teaspoon of the salt, pepper, paprika, coriander, celery salt, cayenne, oregano, and tarragon, and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and let it cook for about a minute, until the spices release their fragrant oils.
- Increase the heat to high and deglaze the pot with the sherry, making sure to scrape up any flavor bits from the bottom. Bring the sherry to a simmer and let it reduce by half, about 1 Cup of liquid. Add the Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, and when it has come to a boil add the reserved empty corn ears. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavor the soup will have. I would shoot for an hour if you have the time.
- While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the chopped cauliflower in a single layer in a roasting pan, and toss with the remaining TB of olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and starting to brown around the edges. Check on it about 10 minutes in and give it a good stir so it browns evenly.
- When the soup is simmered to your satisfaction, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down a little. Remove and discard the ears of corn, and stir in the roasted cauliflower. When it is cool enough, puree the soup using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor.
- Place the soup back over medium-low heat. Add the reserved corn kernels, cream, and milk. Bring the soup to a bare simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes or so, just to let all the flavors come together.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro at the very end and serve.