Roasted Corn and Potato Chowder

This is most definitely a weekend soup. Not a quick and easy throw-it-together-in-30-minuntes weeknight meal. But a it’s-a-gray-and-rainy-Sunday-and-I-don’t-want-to-leave-the-house kind of meal. It’s the end of summer and the end of the sweet corn and I’ve been thinking about a corn and potato chowder as the weather has turned cooler. Plus, I need to restock my freezer stock of soups. (Over the past week I’ve depleted my stores of this, this and this.) I’m trying really hard not to complain overly much about the changing of seasons – but all I want to do is eat a rich and hearty soup and pretend that it isn’t getting colder.

This soup almost didn’t make it to the blog. The first round ended in disastrous results, tears and a frantic phone call to Scott. What can I say? I am emotional about food. I’ll spare you the details (and I don’t think my heart can handle revisiting it). But, live and learn. And from the ashes of the soup-that-wasn’t, came an even better version.

I wanted a thick, creamy and chuncky chowder that clearly showcases the last of the sweet corn. I roasted half the vegetables, corn included. Then I steeped the corn cobs in some whole milk to really get that sweet corn flavor. There was onions, peppers, carrots and potatoes. Oh, and a parmesan rind and some thyme. An alternate title for this could be Everything But the Kitchen Sink Soup.

Sweet, savory and just a little kick of spice. Perfect for a Sunday.

Roasted Corn and Potato Chowder

**********
4 ears of corn, husks on
10-12 small yukon gold potatoes
4 medium carrots
2 onions
1-2 jalepano peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
**********

Rough chop half of the potatoes, carrots and onions. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and arrange on baking dish. Place dish full of vegetables and ears of corn (husks on) in oven and roast at 350º for about 20 minutes. Remove corn, and increase heat to 400º and continue to roast for about 20 minutes more.

Remove kernels from corn (I like to cut the corn in a bundt pan in order to catch any runaway kernels). Set aside. Place cobs in a small saucepan with whole milk. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Cover and set aside until the rest of the vegetables have finished roasting.

Dice remaining onions, peppers, carrots and potatoes into small, bite-size pieces. In a large stock pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil (or in this case, bacon fat). Cook onions and peppers until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes salt, pepper and thyme and cook 5 minutes more.

Add chicken stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Take the roasted vegetables and put them in a blender or food processor. Add the corn milk (after removing the cobs) and puree until smooth. Stir puree and corn kernels into soup and simmer for at least 5-10 minutes longer.

I like to garnish mine with some bacon. But who wouldn’t?

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