Creamless corn chowder

A lighter version of a seasonal classic.

Three Many Cooks
Corn chowder made with puréed corn and no dairy products. A wonderful end-of-the-season summer soup.

A chef friend of mine once said, “Anybody can make a dish taste good with butter and cream.” He’s right. So in developing this corn chowder recipe I gave myself the challenge: make it creamy and flavorful …. without cream. Puréed corn not only made it possible to eliminate dairy, it also meant I didn’t need a thickener either. So take advantage of end-of-the-season corn and try this hearty, yet light summer soup.

Creamless Grilled Corn Chowder with Peppers and Cilantro

Makes a generous 2 quarts

8 ears husked corn, 4 ears left whole, kernels cut from remaining 4 ears and cobs scraped to release corn juice
1 large onion, peeled and sliced very thick
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 pound new potatoes potatoes halved
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 quart chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish

Brush 4 ears of the corn, the onion, bell pepper, and potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Puree cut and scraped corn in a blender (you should have about 2 cups).

Meanwhile, heat gas grill igniting all burners on high for at least 10 minutes or build a hot charcoal fire. Clean grate with a wire brush and then lubricate with an oil-soaked rag. Place vegetables on hot grate making sure to place potatoes cut side down. Cook until spotty brown, about 5 minutes for the potatoes (no need to turn) and about 10 minutes (turning once) for the corn, onions, and pepper. Remove vegetables from the grill; set aside until cool enough to handle. Chop potatoes and onions, and cut corn from cob.

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large soup kettle over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add thyme and then corn puree; cook until it begins to bubble. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil; add vegetables, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until flavors blend, about five minutes, adding water if necessary to desired thickness. Stir in cilantro. Ladle into bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves.

To see a Three Many Cooks related video, click here.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.