A fresh corn broth is made for the base of this soup. It incorporates the corn cobs, shiitake mushroom stems, herbs, as well as parmesan rinds. I think it really makes the finished dish extraordinary.
I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, contributed by Rick Martinez. I lightened the recipe by using half and half instead of heavy cream. I also used home-grown jalapeños instead of Fresno chiles and parsley instead of marjoram. I doubled the garlic too, of course. 😉 Fabulous!!
Yield: Serves 8
- 8 ears of corn
- 2 Parmesan rinds (about 4 ounces)
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- coarse salt
- 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used 3 thick slices)
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used 1 1/2 large potatoes)
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 2 Fresno chiles or jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 2 cups heavy cream or half and half
- 1 T chopped marjoram or parsley, plus more for serving
- oyster crackers, for serving, optional
- Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Reserve cobs.
- Place cobs in a medium pot and add Parmesan rinds, if using, mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf, 2 tsp. salt, and 8 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth is fragrant and reduced by half, 40–50 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids and set broth aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 4 T butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high.
- Add corn kernels, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and juices have evaporated and browned on the bottom of the pot, 12–15 minutes. Reserve ½ cup corn for serving; transfer remaining corn to a medium bowl.
- Add wine to pot and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl with remaining corn.
- Heat remaining 1 T butter in same pot over medium and cook bacon until golden brown and fat has rendered, about 6 minutes.
- Add potatoes, shallots, leek, garlic, and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but haven’t taken on any color, 12–15 minutes.
- Add chiles and cook until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add reserved broth, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
- Add half and half (or cream) and corn mixture and cook, stirring, until chowder has thickened, 5–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parley. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
- Divide chowder among bowls. Top with additional parsley, oyster crackers, and reserved ½ cup corn; season with pepper.
Note: To make this vegetarian, omit the bacon and replace with more shiitake mushrooms; sauté them until they’re golden brown.
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