It’s the time of year when our culinary spirit is energized by the fall harvest. The season of heavenly soups, flavorful appetizers and main courses with unique autumn-inspired presentations is upon us. To help usher you into this delicious time of the year, here’s a recipe for my favorite fall chowder, a delightful first course when you’re entertaining fall guests. Be creative with your presentation. You may even want to try serving the soup in an oven-roasted acorn squash bowl.
• 6 fresh white corn on the cob, husked
• 12 fresh yellow corn on the cob, husked
• 1 lb. smoked bacon
• 1/4 lb. unsalted butter
• 2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and cut in half
• 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut in half
• 2 medium yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut in half
• 1/2 gallon whole milk
• 1 large onion, finely minced
• 3 medium potatoes (Idaho or russet), peeled and medium diced
• 8 oz. heavy cream
• 4 oz. sour cream
• 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. Wondra flour
• 3 oz. thyme, dried
Finely mince bacon and onion and sweat in stock pot with butter on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes (do not brown). In the meantime, grill fresh yellow corn and cut off cob. Add corn and milk to a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add flour to sweated bacon and onion to make a roux and stir while cooking until slightly browned. Add corn and milk mixture to roux and whisk until smooth. Bring back to a boil and simmer over low heat (be careful not to scorch bottom of pot).
Grill white corn and peppers. Remove corn from cob. Add corn, peppers and potatoes to soup. Make a sachet bag with dry thyme and close tightly with tied string so thyme will not mix into chowder. Add bag to chowder (tip: tie string end to the pot handle so you will not lose the sachet bag in the soup). Cook for approximately one hour or until potatoes are fully cooked. Season with salt to taste. Serves eight.
Howard Karp is the Executive Chef at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information about the program, visit www.culinaryinstituteofmt.com.
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