It’s stupid hot outside. Weathermen are already predicting this summer will be known for “The Great 2011 Heatwave.” Austin’s drought worsens every day as the arid, summer heat bakes the city dry. (Fourth of July fireworks have even been cancelled). When it’s this hot, no one wants to stand over a hot stove. This time of year is meant for salads, hot dogs, and popsicles, not soup.
So I’m aware, cooking corn chowder when it’s 100 degrees outside is a bit crazy, but for a moment, I envisioned myself on a breezy beach in the Hampton’s. I took to my Le Creuset pot without an official recipe. Inspired by Barefoot Contessa, I created a luscious Shrimp and Corn Chowder that transported the magician and I to the cooler North East coast. The only thing our “seaside” dinner lacked was the sand in between our toes.
Sweet Corn & Shrimp Chowder
3 Tbs. Butter
3 Ears sweet corn, roasted and shucked (should still be aldente)
1/2 Large sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 Green bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 Jalapeno peppers, mostly de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 Clove garlic, smahsed
6 C. Chicken Stock
In a soup pot, sauté first 5 ingredients for about 15 minutes on medium high. Then add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Add the smashed garlic, and sauté for a minute until it’s fragrant. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Let the mixture cool a bit, then blend it with an immersion blender. Strain the soup base and reserve for later
The soup base is definitely delicious if you were to leave it as is (perhaps,with a touch of cream), but I like hearty, chunky soups so I continued to build on the flavor.
-3 tbs butter
-2 Ears sweet corn, roasted and shucked
-1/4 Large sweet onion, roughly chopped
-Thinly sliced carrot
-1 Large clove minced garlic
-Red potatoes, chopped and roasted until light brown
-Chopped crispy bacon
– 1 lb Shrimp, cleaned and rinsed
– 1/2 C. Heavy Cream
In a sauté pan, melt 2 Tbs butter on medium heat, add the onion & carrot, and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the corn, cook for about 10 minutes longer. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute until it’s fragrant, then pour in a 1/2 C. White Wine. Let the liquid reduce by half, then add mixture into the reserved soup base, along with the roasted potatoes and bacon.
While the soup simmers, in the sauté pan melt the reserved 1 Tbs butter on medium high heat. Add the shrimp, and sauté for about 2 minutes until they are barely turning pink. Season them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then add about 1/4 C. more of white wine. Cook for one more minute, then add the shrimp and the pan juices to soup, along with the heavy cream. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Simmer it for about 10 minutes longer, then serve.