Ask for “chowder,” and you could be repeating the first word coined by Europeans in America. Bring a spoonful to your mouth, and you could be enjoying the first European-American dish. According to some historians, the word “chowder” was coined long before the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod. Fishermen from various parts of Europe were haunting the fertile waters of Newfoundland since John Cabot’s voyage of 1497. In their multilingual gatherings, they corrupted the French word chaudiere, the pot in which French fishermen made their stews, into the word “chowder.”
Our Corn Chowder is just the thing for summer—when corn is at its best. In this version, we sautéed the sweet kernels from Peaches-and-Cream corn and some chopped potatoes in bacon drippings. Thickened with a bit of flour, the mixture then got a healthy douse of milk, then simmered about 30 minutes. We added a handful of feta and topped the soup with a smattering of velvety roasted tomatoes (a little like gilding the lily, we know). Add a bit of basil, and you’re done.
Fresh Corn Chowder with Feta and Roasted Tomatoes
The silky roasted tomatoes and salty feta play off the sweet corn in this creamy soup. Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil make a fine substitute for the roasted tomatoes.
3 ounces bacon, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
Fresh sweet corn cut from 4 ears (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons flour
6 cups 2 percent reduced-fat milk
2 ounces feta cheese
1. Place bacon, shallot and onion in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Add potatoes and corn; stir. Add flour and stir well. Cook 5 minutes. Add milk. Turn heat to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. To finish, add feta, salt and pepper to taste and dollop with roasted tomatoes. Serves 6.
Photo by Mark Boughton Photography / Styling by Teresa Blackburn