One of my favorite things about creating recipes is looking for creative ways to twist up some classic dishes in a more seasonally appropriate way and this plays a big role in my cooking. During last week's heat wave, all I wanted to do was eat things that were simple and chilled. I ate watermelon for breakfast and cold salads and soups for lunch and the thought of anything warm or taking the time to prepare a formal meal was not anything I wanted any part of. This week, with the temperatures (thankfully) dipping down a bit, I was in need of something a little heartier and most importantly, my favorite, cheesier.
|Cheesy Chipotle Corn Chowder with a Twist|
At the grocery store and looking for some inspiration, the cascading front and center stand of corn at the grocery store had caught my eye and thus this dish got it's start; a creamy corn chowder base, bread and cheese on the top and a new favorite is born!
The secret to my corn chowder is that I don't use any cream or milk and instead, I rely on a thick potato puree to create the creamy richness that makes a corn chowder so good. I laced my chowder with Cabot's Chipotle Cheddar Cheese as well as some chipotles to give it a smoky kick and then ladled the soup into individual crocks, topped with chunks of whole wheat croutons and topped it all off with more shredded Chipotle Cheese. If you find yourself craving something a little heartier during these rainy days, might I suggest this alternative. Or, if you find yourself not digging the whole crouton bread thing, that's cool, just leave that part out and you can still make the soup. Whether you decide to enjoy it hot, cold or room temp, it's just as satisfying; creamy, smoky and spicy from the cheese and chipotles, the soup also has a great sweetness to it from the corn and comes together quickly enough for this to be a nice weeknight meal.
Cheesy Chipotle Corn Chowder with a Twist
- 4 ears of corn, husked
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
- 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 2 Chipotle peppers, minced (or use 1 for less heat)
- 1 cup shredded Cabot Chipotle Cheese
- Salt to taste
- A couple of hearty pieces of whole wheat bread, cubed
Preheat oven to 350. Using a knife, remove the kernels of corn from the cob and place the kernels and cob into a stock pot with the clove of peeled garlic and thyme. Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Season the water with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer corn for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let is cool slightly. Remove cobs and thyme sprigs.
While the corn is cooking, peel the potatoes, cut them into even cubes and place in a medium-sized pot. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes completely. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer until the potatoes have cooked through. Strain potatoes, reserving the water used to cook the potatoes.
In a blender and working in small batches, puree the corn with the potatoes and add just enough potato water to reach desired consistency. Add chipotles and 1/2 cup of Cabot Chipotle Cheese. Season to taste with salt. Ladle soup into French Onion Soup Crocks. Top with cubes of whole wheat bread and then top with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the bread is crisped. Let cool for a couple of minutes before serving.