After the fantastic corn ricotta pancakes we ate at Willow Restaurant during Restaurant Week and then successfully recreated at home, I was thrilled to see that Willow had shared another recipe featuring corn.
I’ve never made corn chowder before, or any chowder actually, and was a little nervous about the whole thing until the very last step. In the end, potatoes, leeks and cream all came together to make a smooth base for sweet kernels of corn. It’s rich and filling enough to be an entree – just serve with a citrusy green salad. And now is the perfect time for this soup, because it’s still summery enough to get the last of the fresh corn but cool enough at night to enjoy a warm bowl.
I used all purpose flour instead of potato flour but you can switch back to the original to keep it gluten-free. I also cut the 2 cups of cream to 1 and upped the volume of stock to compensate.
4 ears of corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved for stock
3 leeks, white part only, cut into thin slivers
2 oz butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 cups corn stock (see below)
1 cup cream
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
several sprigs of thyme
salt and black pepper
smoked paprika or your favorite red spice (cayenne, red chili flakes…)
Put the cobs in a large pot with 8 cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.
In the mean time, melt the butter in a soup pot and cook the leeks on medium-low heat until they are soft (about 15 minutes).
Turn heat to low and add the flour, whisking to make a roux and cooking for 5 minutes. Add the corn stock and thyme – you can make a thyme bouquet or just strip the leaves straight into the pot. Turn the heat up to medium and whisk until mostly smooth.
For the rest of the cooking steps, be sure to stir occasionally and scrape the bottom since the mixture is quite thick.
Add the corn kernels, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cover, and cook until the corn and potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Note: I was skeptical that the corn would need more time to cook than the potatoes, but it definitely did.
Add the cream and more water/stock if necessary and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top each bowl with paprika, cayenne or chili flakes and serve.