Living in North Carolina, I’m used to some hot summer weather! But that seems like a silly reason to give up one of my favorite food platforms for an entire season each year. So this year, we decided to find a couple of soups that are refreshing and use the best of the local produce. I’ll keep these coming as often as I find a new one. This corn chowder has to be credited to my favorite: Gwyneth Paltrow. My sister-in-law gave me Gwyneth’s first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, for Christmas a few years back. I LOVE this cookbook. She lived in Spain for a time in her teens and had a lot of Spanish influenced meals. Most people who know me, know that my husband has been privy to many a sweet nothing whispered of an ex-pat retirement in Spain, ever since we spent two weeks there on our honeymoon. So, GP and I are obviously kindred spirits. Plus, she’s from Long Island, so… (Yay New England!!)
This corn chow-dah is perfect for spring and summer nights! It’s light but filling, and the corn is so delicious when it is in season! This can be the perfect start as an appetizer to some fresh seafood on the grill, or as a full meal. Whatever your preference, I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does! If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, follow Gwenie’s version, since mine uses a little meat.
Katie’s Take on Gwyneth Paltrow’s New England Corn Chowder
- Food processor/blender
- 3 tablespoons salted butter (or olive oil for vegan)
- 6 slices diced bacon (skip for vegetarian/vegan – although GP recommends 1.5 tsp pimento)
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme (or 4 sprigs fresh thyme)
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
- Kernels from 12 fresh ears of corn (After you slice off the kernels, use the back of your knife to scrape the juices off half the cobs – adds to the creaminess of the soup!) Reserve 4-6 cobs for simmering.
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 2 cups milk (or light coconut milk)
- Melt the butter in a big soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon until it begins to brown, and then add the shallots, herbs, and onion. Saute until onion starts to become translucent. Add the corn kernels and salt and pepper. Stir everything together. Add the milk, stock, and corn cobs. Bring soup to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (you want corn to be cooked thru). Remove the cobs, and blend about half to three-quarters of the soup – really your preference here! You can serve immediately or reheat later. I prefer to let it cool and heat later; the flavors blend so well!
I usually serve this with some crusty bread and a small side salad. We bring it to BBQ’s as a side, make it as an appetizer on night’s my parents grill burgers/lobster/swordfish at the beach, and make it at home as a main dish, so we have a quick meal to pull out on busy nights! Enjoy!