You can have sweetcorn chowder anytime of year but there is something about tucking into a large bowl late summer, using fresh seasonal corn that you have just shucked.
When I think of chowder I think of San Francisco, one of my favourite cities. Traditionally it has lots of seafood in. one of the spice mixes popular with seafood on the west coast is Old Bay, often used to season crab. It’s essentially a mix of celery salt, red pepper and paprika, so If you can’t hold of any you could mix up a little combo using these spices. I would make up a mix of 2 tbs celery salt, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 2tsp paprika, good pinch mustard powder and nutmeg. I only use 1 tsp of old bay in this recipe, so you will have plenty left to use for another recipe.
If fresh corn is unavailable, you can substitute for tinned or frozen.
This easily serves 6, but I usually make it for 4 and have some left to freeze or eat later in the week.
650g potatoes peeled and diced 5-10mm cubes
3 corn ears shucked
2 leeks finely sliced dark green discarded
4 garlic gloves finely grated or crushed
2 bay leaves
2 tbs light oil
Bunch of coriander stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp Old Bay spice (see above for alternative)
200ml oat cream fraiche or oat cream
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 corn ear, charred under a grill or BBQ and kernels removed
In a large pan add the light oil and leeks, sauté until soft and buttery but do not brown.
When the leeks are ready add the potatoes, corn, garlic, bay leaves, the finely chopped coriander stalks, 1 tsp salt and a very good grind of black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes. Add the paprika and Old Bay and stir to combine and cook for a further minute before adding the vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and immediately reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 20-30minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Stir in the Oat cream fraiche or oat cream and cook for a further few minutes before serving.
Check for seasoning and stir in a handful of roughly chopped coriander leaves.
When you’re ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with the charred corn, a little drizzle of oat cream, a pinch of paprika, extra coriander leaves and chopped chives if using.
For try San Francisco style you can serve in a hollowed sourdough roll. Might be easier to serve the bread on the side!