Now that fall is almost here and top notch sweet corn is available, that means it is time for some hearty corn chowder. We have a huge advantage here because, with the fair wrapping up, we have access to some great meats from local kids- we always buy beef, pork, and lamb from the auction.
And all the wonderful veggies coming to the farmers market mean that you can cook this recipe with the freshest ingredients possible. Like all the recipes I share, just take your time, read through the recipe first and follow the step by step instructions and it will turn out fine!
Sweet Corn Chowder
• 5 ears sweet corn, removed from the cob (Olathe Sweet or Mirai are awesome)
• 1 pound breakfast sausage (or 1 pound of chopped bacon)
• 2 medium potatoes, diced
• 2 medium carrots, diced
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 quart whole milk
• 1 pint heavy cream
• 1 quart warm chicken stock (I recommend “Better than Bullion” base whisked in hot water)
• ½ cup butter (one stick)
• ¾ cup flour
• 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
To prepare the corn, shuck and wash the ears to remove all the silk. Using a sharp knife, gently cut the kernels off of the cob. I recommend doing this on a sheet pan or in a cake pan so that you can capture all the juices from the corn, you want to add that flavor back into your soup.
Some folks have a corn cutting tool that zips the corn off the cob, pretty cool invention, but I don’t have one. To start the soup, you will want to get a medium stock pot to brown the meat. I give a choice between breakfast sausage or bacon depending on your preference. I actually prefer the breakfast sausage from local processor “Homestead Natural Meats” as it has a very good flavor and not a ton of extra grease when cooked.
Brown the meat in the pan, on medium heat, breaking it up with a spatula so the pieces are smaller. Once it is cooked through, add the salt, pepper, garlic, the onion, celery, carrots, and the potatoes. Cook the veggies until the onions get slightly brown. Now you will want to add the warm chicken stock. Let it simmer a little while to help cook the potatoes. Reduce the heat to low and add the milk and heavy cream.
Now, to create a roux, melt the stick of butter in a sauté pan. Once it is melted, whisk in the flour until it is a smooth texture. You should have a “peanut butter” consistency Let it cook for a minute, stirring constantly to prevent it from burning. Once the soup starts to come to a low boil, add a bit at a time and whisk constantly until all the roux is in.
At this point you should add the corn and whatever corn juice you have saved. Let simmer ( or put into a slow cooker on low)
If the texture is too thick, add a little more chicken stock until it is where you like. If it is too thin, you can make a little more roux with melted butter and flour and whisk it in to thicken it up. Seasoning is such a personal choice, so add whatever you like. I will sometimes add a dash of hot sauce, depending on how much flavor the corn has. but I will say that our local corn has so much flavor that you really don’t need a lot to make this soup shine. This pairs really well with the peach lager from one of our local brewers. Cut up some thick slices of sourdough and enjoy!
Until next time.
Dave is a retired local chef whose family members are willing guinea pigs for his food adventures