Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chile corn chowder

This recipe goes to you my dear friend Maya K.! Ever since I made it for her once, she's been asking for the recipe, and I keep on forgetting to give it to her. But now I will finally share it!

I absolutely love this soup. It's all you could want from corn chowder. Warm and cozy on a cold winter day, refreshing on a balmy spring evening. It goes really well with toasted bread, or rolls (like our Shar brand of gluten-free ciabatta...would recommend those!), or a simple salad. The spices are perfect.

All credit for this soup recipe goes to Jamie Oliver. He has a great iPhone app of a whole bunch of recipes, and that's where I got this one. For more fun recipes, you can purchase that app too!

  Tip: Be sure to read through ALL of the instructions before making this. It could be a little confusing in the middle of your cooking if you don't know what's coming. 

Serves: 4
400 g frozen sweet corn
1 medium potato
1.2 L vegetable broth
1 large onion
2 sticks celery
2 medium fresh chiles
1 pat butter
1 small bunch fresh thyme (make sure it's fresh!)
6 scallions or shallots *See "Claire's Tips"
Optional: Cheddar cheese (of course, I leave this out- I'm lactose-intolerant!), Sour cream
Olive Oil
Sea salt

1. Fill a medium pan with the vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat.
2. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Trim and roughly chop the sticks of celery. Halve 1 of your chiles lengthways (deseed it if you don't like things to spicy), then finely chop it.
3. Put a large deep pan on low to medium heat and add the pat of butter and a lug of olive oil. Meanwhile...
4. Pick the thyme leaves and discard the stalks. Add the leaves to the pan of broth.
5. Add all the chopped veggies to the large pan with a splash of water. Stir then cover with a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until the vegetable start to soften. Meanwhile...
6. Peel the potato then roughly grate it onto your board. Add to the pan of simmering broth.
7. Add the corn the the large pan of vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes. Carefully pour the broth and potato into the pan and bring everything to the boil.
8. Simmer for 5 minutes then take the pan off the heat. While simmering, trim and finely slice your scallions and finely slice the remaining chile. Grate the cheddar.
9. Pulse the chowder a few times with the hand blender so it's still quite rustic and chunky.
10. Taste and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper then cover with a lid.
11, Spoon a dollop of sour cream over each bowl then sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese, sliced scallion and chile. Gorgeous!

Claire's Tips:
- Be extremely careful when cutting your chile pepper. DO NOT touch your nose, mouth, and worst of all, eyes while cutting a chile pepper. I learned that the hard way. My eyes started burning so badly that dinner was half an hour late, because I couldn't stop the watering. I finally had to go stick my head in the snow (it was still winter) to numb my face, and after that I was ok! Luckily, Hayley was over that night, so we had quite a funny time of figuring out how to get my eyes to stop burning. I would recommend using rubber gloves when cutting chile pepper though!
- I made another mistake once while making this soup, and it actually turned out to be really good! I confused scallions with shallots and also didn't read the instructions thoroughly, so didn't know that the scallions/shallots were just a garnish. I put in an extra three or four little shallots (sweet little brown onions) in with the vegetable mix, and it was delicious! Hey, you never know when a mistake will be a success!
- Make lots of this soup!! It makes great leftovers, plus, from experience, people always want seconds. 


  1. So glad you posted this! I like all your comments in the end, especially about the chile pepper!

  2. I have to write on your blog again to say how much I LOVE the new look! It's fresh and beautiful, and makes me want to read it! Love the new font pretty!


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