Recipe for corn chowder with chipotle cream
For a moment, I considered showing you a photograph of me licking the pot after Kathy, my cooking assistant, and I finished eating this soup and packing up the leftover (which, believe me, didn't last long). The smoky richness of chipotle seduces me, and I couldn't stop tasting, and tasting again, and finally digging into an entire bowl for lunch. And, for dinner, I had another bowl. I couldn't get enough of it, and I hope you feel the same way when you try it. The recipe calls for frozen corn kernels, available at any time of year, and smoky-hot chipotles, which should be a fixture in every cook's pantry. Pureé the soup to any texture you like. Me? I leave half the corn kernels whole, but you can go all the way to silky smooth.
Corn chowder with chipotle cream
Serves 4 as a main dish, with salad and bread on the side.
1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
16 oz frozen organic corn kernels
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme)
4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought), divided
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or small heavy stock pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion briefly over medium heat, just until translucent.
Add the corn and thyme leaves, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add 3 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, whisk together the chipotles and cream in a measuring cup, and set aside.
After the soup has cooked for 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, pureé the soup to the desired texture, chunky or creamy smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool for 10-15 minutes, then pureé in batches in a stand blender or food processor, and return it to the pot.
Return the pot to the stove, and set at lowest heat. Stir in the chipotle cream. If you want a thinner soup, add some or all of the remaining 1 cup of stock. Taste, and add salt and black pepper, to taste (if you use store-bought stock, you might not need any salt).
Serve hot. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days.