Summer corn chowder (with or without salmon)

Summer Corn Chowder (with or without salmon)

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large onion, cut in medium dice

1 stalk celery, including leaves, cut into ¼-inch dice

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

4 ears sweet corn, shucked, kernels cut from the cobs and the cobs reserved

6 -8 cups vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons dry sherry

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Optional:  1 pound skinned salmon fillet, cut into ¾-inch chunks

 

In a 4-quart or larger pot, melt the butter over medium heat with the vegetable oil.  Add the cayenne, onion, celery, carrot, some black pepper, and a half-teaspoon of salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables soften.  Add the potato and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable stock.  Cut or break the corn cobs in half and add them to the pot.  Bring to a boil and the lower the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove and discard the corn cobs.  Add the corn and simmer 5 minutes, then stir in the cream and sherry.  Turn off the heat and let the soup sit for a few minutes.  You may want to add more vegetable stock if it’s too thick.  Taste for salt and pepper.  The soup is ready to eat hot, or you can let it cool down to room temperature.

 

Salmon variation:  If you want the soup hot, turn the heat back on to low after you’ve let the soup sit, then add the salmon pieces.  Cook for five minutes, then serve.  If you plan on serving the soup at a lower temperature, don’t bother heating the pot when you add the salmon – the fish will cook in the soup as-is.  Again, you may want to add more vegetable stock after adding the fish if you want the soup a bit thinner.

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