with all the rainy days that have been sneaking into our summer this year, i’ve been feeling the need for something warm and comforting. but i didn’t want something heavy; it’s still summer after all! the perfect ingredient for such a meal is now piling up at your local farmer’s markets and grocery stores, and it’s the food network’s summerfest ingredient of the week… sweet corn!
sweet corn is hands down one of my favorite ingredients. it is crisp and juicy eaten raw on the cob (don’t eat too much or you’ll get a stomach ache) and it melts in your mouth with sweetness when you boil it, roast it, grill it, saute it, or make it into soup, which is exactly what i did. i love corn chowder because it allows me to fully savor this wonderful ingredient in a slightly more civilized manner. (my usual approach is to gnaw through several ears of corn on the cob in a matter of minutes.) and this week, i decided to see just how sophisticated corn chowder can be. the answer is, very!
the following recipe was inspired by a temporary vegetarian column i read last year and a similar recipe in sustainably delicious, an amazing cookbook i came across at a blow-out sale at borders. the soup starts with the simple combination of corn and onions, with a just a bit of fat-free greek yogurt, which adds creaminess without the fat. if you like a little extra tanginess, try using goat’s milk yogurt instead. from there i decided to leave the well-trodden path with the addition of a garnish made from roasted corn and kohlrabi and crisped kohlrabi greens tossed with truffle oil. the wonderfully earthy flavors of kohlrabi and truffle oil blended so well with the corn that i couldn’t believe it had taken me this long to combine these ingredients. this soup is a perfect combination of fresh-from-the-garden, summer cooking, with a hint of classy complexity. serve it at your next summer soiree and your guests will swoon!
truffle-roasted corn and kohlrabi chowder
2 onions, diced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
9 ears of corn
2 kohlrabi, medium-small diced
Greens from 2 kohlrabi, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup goat’s milk yogurt (or plain yogurt)
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons truffle oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. preheat oven to 350°f.
2. cut the kernels off 6 ears of corn and set aside, reserving the cobs. in a large saucepan, combine the cobs, 1 of the diced onions, and 8 cups of water.
3. place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. cover and cook for 20 minutes. turn off the heat and leave covered for an additional 30 minutes.
4. while the corncobs are cooking, coat the diced kohlrabi and 3 whole ears of corn with 1 tablespoon of truffle oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. spread out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until evenly brown. remove from oven and cool slightly. cut the kernels off the cobs, toss with the kohlrabi in an additional ½ tablespoon of truffle oil, lightly season with salt and pepper, and set aside. discard the cobs.
5. place a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter or olive oil. add the remaining diced onion and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 20 minutes. add raw corn kernels and sauté until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. remove from heat and set aside.
6. when stock has finished steeping, strain it, discarding the cobs and onions. add 6 cups of stock to the pot of corn kernels. return to medium heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
7. allow the soup to cool. working in batches, blend the soup in a food processor or blender until the soup is smooth*. return to pot and reheat on medium until hot. then turn heat to low, stir in the yogurt, and season with salt and pepper.
8. In a small saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-low heat. add the sliced kohlrabi greens and allow them to cook, stirring infrequently, for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and bright green. add the greens to the roast kohlrabi and corn.
9. garnish each bowl with a large spoonful of the roasted kohlrabi, corn, and greens mixture and a few drops of additional truffle oil before serving.
*when blending soup in a food processor or blender, it helps to start with the solid ingredients, and slowly add in small amounts of liquid. this helps ensure that all the solids are pureed.
feel like husking more corn? check these fabulous recipes out:
Dishin and Dishes: Kicked Up Creamed Corn From Scratch
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Fresh Corn Salsa with Basil and Mint
Zaika Zabardast: Fresh Corn Risotto
What’s Gaby Cooking: Spicy Corn Salsa
CICooking Channel: Fresh Corn Muffins
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Corn on the Cob Korma
FN Dish: Southwest Corn Recipes
Daily*Dishin: Sweet Corn and Couscous Main Dish Salad
Pinch My Salt: Peter Reinhart’s Fresh Cut Corn Bread with Bacon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Corn & Watermelon Salad
Virtually Homemade: Summer Corn Salad
Food2: Creamed Corn Cornbread
Virtually Vegan Mama: Thai Corn Soup
Sunshine and Smile: Scallops with Corn and Pepper Sauce
Spices N Aroma: Corn Pilaf
The Sensitive Epicure: Fresh Corn Fritters with Chive Lemon Chipotle Yogurt (Gluten-Free)
Dixie Chick Cooks: Fresh Corn with Basil Slaw and Feta
Cooking With Books: Corn Favorites
Purple Cook: Corn on the Cob with Cilantro
Glory Foods: Skillet Corn Muffins