November 13, 2009
Posted by Temma
To be honest, this isn't something I ever remember my grandmother making. Fresh cooked sweet corn on the cob as a side dish? Sure! But corn chowder? Not that I recall. I don't remember ever eating soup at her house, to be honest, although I'm sure she must have heated up a bowlfull of something at some point.
I don't remember her making soup, but I do remember eating soup with her. Some nights when I was staying over, she would decide that we were going to go out to one of the local diners. This was never for the early bird specials that my dad is so fond of; it was just for a change of pace. I know what else anyone ordered, or if we would just get the salad bar, but I remember that this particular salad bar always seemed to have big tureens full of cream of brocolli soup, and my grandmother and I would always each eat at least one bowl of it. She always preferred creamy soups over ones with a clear broth, unless wontons were involved.
Because of the dreary weather that we've having, I really wanted to find a soup to make today, instead of the cookies and cakes that the recipe boxes are full of. Ok, full disclosure, I ate a huge brownie yesterday and then chowed down on a good amount of ice cream, so the desire to make soup was also influenced by not wanting to look at anything sweet today. Anyway, I found several variations on corn/potato/corn and potato chowders, and this one seemed the most appealing and also the one with the most basic ingredients- I'll save the soup calling for "6 freshly grated ears of sweet corn" for when sweet corn is in season.
And, off to the soup!
1 Can or 2 Cups of fresh corn
4 Potatoes, cut in slices
2 Onions, cut in slices
2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Cups scalded milk*
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Regarding the scalded milk: This is a term that I had heard before, but I had never cooked anything calling for "scalded milk." I turned to google, and found out that it just means heating the milk to 180 degrees farenheight, being sure to not let it boil. This used to be an important step before milk was routinely pasturized, but now it's mostly done just to bring the milk up to the temperature of the other ingredients. So now we all know.
Start by slicing up your onions and potatoes. I chopped up the slices a bit, too, just to give them more variety in size.
Melt the butter in a big pot over medium/low heat. Toss in the onions and fry them until they begin to soften. As a side note, they'll also start to smell tasty.
Mix in the flour; keep stirring.
Add the water and the sliced potatoes.
Cover partially and cook until the potatoes are soft. The time on this step will vary depending on how thinly you sliced your potatoes- it took about 10 minutes for mine to cook. I stirred the pot every now and then to minimize the potatoes sticking to the bottom, but this is mostly because things like to burn to the bottom of the pot I used. You'll end up with a big steamy pot of potatoes and onions, which should look something like this:
Cut 2 cups of corn off of some fresh ears, or open your can of corn.
Add the corn and the scalded milk, and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in salt to taste, and cook another minute or two.
Season with pepper and serve.
Some fresh crusty bread would be very tasty with this.