One of my favorite ways to use the bountiful harvest of fresh local sweet corn is to cook up a big pot of corn chowder. It’s also a great way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and is a dish I return to often as the season progresses. This recipe is easy and satisfying to prepare and makes a chowder full of corn flavor with kernels that burst with freshness when you bite down.
1 medium yellow onion, diced to approximately ½ inch
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 medium or 2 large starchy potatoes, such as russet or butterball, cubed to approximately 1 inch
1 cup heavy cream
8 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob
extra virgin olive oil
Place a large Dutch oven or other pot over medium low heat. Add approximately 3 tablespoons of EVOO and begin sweating the onion. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaf as the onion continues to sweat. Continue cooking until onion has turned translucent; try not to let the onion brown.
Sprinkle flour in the pot and stir with a wooden spoon to evenly coat onion with flour. Continue stirring as you allow flour to cook for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in the stock and bring it to a boil. Allow to remain at a vigorous simmer for a few minutes and then add in the cubes of potato.
Simmer potatoes until tender and cooked. Add cream and corn and simmer for a few minutes until corn is just cooked and chowder has slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaf and sprigs of thyme.
For a bit of extra depth of flavor, use bacon fat instead of EVOO at the beginning.
To sneak in some greens, throw in a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh spinach when you add the cream and corn.