I think My Father’s Daughter is a very strong cookbook for summer. Gwyneth places so much emphasis on fresh ingredients that are only available in the Northeast from April – August. This week I found the first of our local summer corn and decided to take a crack at her corn chowder. We love summer soups and this one used milk so it wasn’t overly dense. Plus, I could tell from the shallots and herbs that it would have terrific summer flavors. In her recipe Gwyneth calls for turkey bacon, but I used pork because that is what I had on hand. The soup came together very easily and was a huge hit for dinner. The texture was creamy and salt without being thick, and I loved the soft sweet corn kernels in every bite. The only thing that was a little unusual is that that it made very small portions. If you are making this for more than three people I highly recommend doubling the recipe to make sure you have plenty. I am sure it would even be great served chilled for lunch the next day!
Summer Corn Chowder
adapted from My Father’s Daughter
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 slices turkey bacon, finely diced, or two slices pork bacon, finely diced
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 springs fresh thyme, stem removed
1 bay leaf
Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn, cobs reserved
1 pinch kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon (optional)
1. In a large soup pot melt the better over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it for 4 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Toss in the shallots, onion, thyme and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add in the corn kernels, salt and pepper and stir everything together. Then, add the stock, milk, and corn cobs and bring the soup to a boil for 30 seconds. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the soup is cooked through.
3. Remove the cobs with tongs and ladle a scoop of soup in the blender until pureed. Return to the pot of soup and stir. Ladle portions into bowls and garnish with chives and tarragon.