Grilled Corn Chowder

Grilled Corn Chowder
It took me extra time at the corn bin at the farmers market yesterday. I’ve heard some people say it’s rude, but I always peel back the top of the husk to make sure there aren’t any wrinkled or missing kernels or worse, a little inch worm feasting away. This late in the season it seems like the there is some sort of defect in pretty much every cob. You can’t be picky!

I bought some even though it wasn’t in the greatest condition. After devouring corn on the cob for the last couple months, it was time to get every last bit out of it and make grilled corn soup. I started by firing up the grill and then it was back to the stove to sauté veggies and make stock with the plain cobs. I finished off this early fall soup with scallions and chives.
Grilled Corn ChowderGrilled Corn Chowder

Serves 4

6 ears corn, shucked
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 leek, white & light green sections thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced chives

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat.

Rub the corn with 2 teaspoons olive oil and grill until lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Let the corn cool slightly before slicing the kernels off the cobs. Cut the cobs in half.

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the cobs and bay leaf and simmer for 25 minutes. Discard the cobs and bay leaf. Transfer the liquid to a blender with 1-1/2 cups corn kernels. Blend until smooth. Pour through a mesh strainer into the large saucepan and return to a simmer.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the leeks for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the red peppers, potatoes and flour and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the corn stock with the remaining kernels, salt & pepper and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Divide into bowls and top with scallions and chives before serving.