So this is basically a recipe (somewhat tweaked and made vegetarian) from the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, which really is a great resource to have on hand, no matter what you think of her. (And by the way, why is she such a divisive subject? Please, don’t act like you wouldn’t do exactly what she does if you were that loaded, pretending that a $150 t-shirt is a bargain. Because I’ll be honest: I would do exactly the same thing.)
Anyway, I’ve found her recipe for corn chowder to be a healthier, lighter alternative to the perhaps heavier versions laden with heavy cream. I employ a Dutch oven for this recipe, one of the greatest items to have available in your kitchen. Because the pot gets seasoned the more you use it (and the more you properly season it), it imparts a better flavor. Or at least I’ve convinced myself it does. Again, fresh corn on the cob is the best to use here, but if you have to use the frozen stuff or (ugh) the canned stuff, go ahead. It just won’t taste as fresh, so don’t blame me. Nor will you be able to make use of the corn cobs that are added to the pot during simmering to make the chowder base thicker. So there–it’s just not going to taste right. Go get some fresh corn on the cob. Trust me.
Also, I know there is some trick to cutting kernels off the cob without making a tremendous mess (cut over a towel or in a bowl, whatever), but I don’t feel like I’m really cooking unless there are random bits of ingredients all over the counter. Plus, I have a cleanup crew on hand whenever food hits the floor, so that mess takes care of itself.
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (no, the dried stuff won’t do here)
2 c. corn kernels, cut from about 6 fresh cobs (reserve the cobs)
2 c. vegetable stock (again, I prefer homemade)
1 c. milk (I use 2%)
Salt and pepper
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven and heat over medium. Once the oil is heated, add your onion, garlic, and red pepper and let saute (stirring occasionally) until tender and the onions are translucent (about 7-8 minutes). Add the thyme and corn kernels and saute for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the reserved corn cobs, vegetable stock, and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, remove the corn cobs and the thyme stems and season liberally with salt and pepper.