It’s not quite the end of summer yet. In my book, summer isn’t over until all the sweet corn is gone ( what can I say I’m a midwest girl through and through).
My parents came to visit last week from Ohio and brought us so much sweet corn. My dad loves to stop at all the farm stands he can find near our house in Ohio, and is always known to bring a few peaches or tomatoes my way. This trip, it was corn.
But somehow when my family is in town, I never seem to have time to cook! We’re always running to kids activities, or out to dinner. We seem to always be so busy “doing”, that we’re never at home cooking. And this trip with my parents in town was no different. After they left, my fridge was stocked with more Ohio sweet corn than I knew what to do with. So what’s the saying…when you have lemons…make corn chowder?! Yep, pretty sure that’s exactly how it goes 😉
This summer corn chowder has to be one of my favorite soups….ever. I put it together with what I had on hand, not knowing how it would turn out, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
To cook the corn, I pulled inspiration from my friend, Tiffany. We had dinner at her home this summer and she served us corn that she cooked in milk and old bay seasoning. I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently it is. And let me tell you, that corn was crazy good.
So I decided to run with that idea and cook my corn in a little milk too – but this time, coconut milk. I used a combination of coconut milk and chicken stock (or you could us vegetable stock) which later became the base for my soup. It not only kept the corn juicy and sweet, but flavored the stock and milk. Talk about efficient 😉
Then I sautéed up some potatoes, onions and jalapeños with a little ginger, lemongrass and red curry paste. Let it all come together and then covered with the sweet coconut milk to simmer away. Once the potatoes softened just a little, I added back in the cooked corn, a ton of cilantro and lime juice.
The result is a soup that’s light, summery and bright, but still has all the hearty soul satisfying feel that you expect from a chowder. I love how the lemongrass and ginger flavor the coconut milk to bring a bright grassiness to the dish, keeping it light and refreshing. While the potatoes and curry paste give a hearty warm feel to the dish. It’s the perfect balance of sweet from the corn, zesty and bright from the ginger and lemongrass, and warm and inviting from the curry. It’s a soup you can’t just eat once. You’ll want to keep making over and over. I promise you.
- 4-5 ears of corn
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups of full fat coconut milk
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3-4 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 1 stalk of lemon grass
- 1 tbsp of red curry paste
- 1½ tsp of minced ginger
- 1 tsp of salt/pepper
- 2-3 limes
- handful of cilantro
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- In a large pot, add the 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock as well as the coconut milk. Add a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a low boil and then add the 4-5 ears of corn. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, turning to the ears of corn as necessary to ensure even cooking (when I cook corn like this, the liquid doesn't fully cover the corn so I rotate the cobs once or twice).
- After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and set the corn and coconut milk aside
- Meanwhile, using an additional pot (I like to use a dutch oven for my soups), heat 3 tbs of olive oil over medium heat, and add the onions and potatoes. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the potatoes don't stick to the bottom of the pot
- Once the onions are translucent, and the potatoes begin to brown, add ½ tsp of salt, the curry paste, ginger and lemon grass. Stir to combine. Allow the spices to cook for 1 minute (careful not to burn the curry paste).
- Meanwhile, remove the ears of corn from the coconut/chicken stock mixture. Set aside to cool.
- Then pour the remaining coconut/stock mixture directly into the pot with the potatoes/onion. Carefully stir everything together, and bring to a low simmer over medium/low heat. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes (until potatoes are just tender. Don't overcook potatoes).
- Carefully, using a sharp chef's knife, remove corn kernels from the cobs and add back into the soup.
- Allow the soup to come together and cook for an additional minute or two.
- To finish, check seasoning, and add additional salt/pepper as necessary. Finish with a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice of two limes.
- Serve and enjoy!