Creamless corn chowder

A lighter version of a seasonal classic.

  • close
    Corn chowder made with puréed corn and no dairy products. A wonderful end-of-the-season summer soup.
    Three Many Cooks
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

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

Recommended: Chilled cucumber soup

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.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.