Monday, September 20, 2010

Corn Soup - More on Late Summer Bounty

Fall is about to begin and soon the best of summer's bounty will be a distant memory. This weekend I tried to remedy that by hitting the farmer's market and buying everything I could in large amounts. Sadly, I'm not like Heather or Peef and Lo, who have the whole canning and preserving thing down to a science. One thing I can do, though is make some of my favorite things and stick them in the freezer.

Marinara Sauce (This is just one container of it).

Pesto (from raiding my own basil bush), frozen in ice cube trays and ready to be defrosted at a moment's notice.

I also wanted to get as much of that delicious butter and sugar corn from Newgate Farms down my gullet as possible. The creamed corn I made with it last week was beyond delicious. I wanted more.

Thanks to The Blonde Duck, I was so ready for some corn chowder, and it was asking for that corn.

I wanted to do a fun new take on corn chowder. I thought about something spicy and really hearty. Rather than fill it with potatoes (too starchy), I decided to make it chock full of the beautiful peppers that shared the booth with the corn. I was looking for a bit of southwest flare, but the sausage is a hot Italian beef sausage from Kiernan Farm. Had I been able to get some chorizo or andouille, I would have used that.

I started with onions and minced jalapeno softened with the sausage. Then I added plenty of chopped bell pepper in mixed colors and five ears' worth of corn kernels. The I poured in some homemade stock (I had more than I knew what to do with in my freezer) and a can of evaporated milk for the liquid. Throw in some chipotle powder for even more kick and a hint of smokiness.

(Eaten at my desk at work)
The result? Meh!

It wasn't really thick and creamy enough. It wasn't what I was craving at all. Also, the taste of the bell peppers was overwhelming. Honestly I thought to myself when I ate it that it felt like something Rachael Ray would make - you know, one of those frankenrecipes where she might say something like, "How about I combine the flavors of sausage and peppers with corn chowder and call it 'stoup'?" I definitely should have given more thought to the recipe.

How I Should Have Made the Soup

- After sauteeing the sausage and veggies, I should have used the drippings to make a roux and given the soup a bechemel base. I could have simply thinned it out with stock as needed
- Use less stock. I will say I used a quart, but the container of frozen stock was likely more than a quart's worth
- Use fewer peppers. Too much pepper flavor and not enough corn flavor.
- More chipotle powder

How I Made The Soup

5 ears of corn
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing
4 bell peppers of various colors, diced
3 small onions, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded, and minced
1 quart chicken stock
1 12oz can evaporated milk
2 tsp chipotle powder

Remove kernels from cobs with a sharp knife. Then scrape the cob with the dull side of the knife to get as much of the corn "milk" as possible. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, cook sausage until no longer pink. Drain off some of the excess fat, but leave some for the rest of the veggies. Add onion and jalapenos and cook until transparent. Add peppers and corn and cook until peppers just begin to soften.

Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the milk and chipotle powder.


The Duo Dishes said...

Did you say sugar corn? Jersey corn is some good stuff. Lucky lucky you! Time to start freezing up good stuff, so you can pull it out during the winter lazy spell. Looking forward to lazy cooking this season. :)

Emily said...

You're too hard on yourself! I think the soup looks and sounds great. Will you attempt to make the soup again?

Nice work on the sauce and pesto. I would have done that but I killed my basil plant.

bellini valli said...

I see that you are "nesting" for the winter and storing plenty of delcious food. Corn is so welcome right now!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

DD - It's amazing corn. I'm going to miss it. Now it's time for winter braises and roasts, not exactly lazy, but at least it's nothing that requires lots of attention.

Em - Aw thanks. I'll make the soup again sometime, but I'll make it a bit differently.

Some say basil is easy to grow, but I think it's a bit high maintenance. It needs LOTS of sunlight, but it also needs constant watering.

Val- Corn is so welcome indded, but so soon it will fly away. :-( I wish I had a bigger freezer to store away more good stuff.