Healthy Corn Chowder with aged cheddar as topping is a great way to use those leftovers of corn or do something different with it. This creamy and cheesy soup with saline herbs will close up the summer on a high note!
Corn season is finally here and what better way to celebrate the season then an healthy corn chowder with a topping of aged cheddar. The days are getting slowly colder and shorter and we all need to comfort ourselves up with some hot soup. Where I’m from, Quebec, Canada, everyone knows that the “best” corns are from that small town called Neuville situated in between Quebec city and Montreal. Pretty much everyone I know, if they pass by, have to stop by to get at least one mega bag that contains 60 corns for about 20$ CAD.
Once home, we would eat corn until food coma follows, whether by boiling it or grilling it in its leaves (technique below) but here is another way to use that lovely sweet corn; a creamy yet healthy corn chowder. Whether the corns are already cooked or raw the technique stays the same, cut off with a sharp knife the grains from the corn to make some smooth soup with it. A great way to indulge in corn!
Corn in its leaves (a BBQ recipe)
My family’s favorite way to make fresh corn is to soak them up in water for an hour before cooking them on the BBQ with its leaves on for 10 minutes, turning them every 2 minutes. Better to take off some of those thicker leaves from the top of the corn before. You’ll see, it makes super moist and slightly smoky corns. Delicious stuff!
Salicorne is a seasonal marine herbs growing by saline water which gives a super aromatic for any soup. I was thinking of home while doing this dish, thess herbs bring me right back. My grandma was from a region called Bas-du-Fleuve, where those Salicorne herbs would grow abundantly and she would make her own mix of saline herbs in conserves to make fantastic soups all year long with it.
Those conserves are an essential to every Quebecois kitchen and are usually without salicorne, called “Herbes salées“, but if you use the Salicorne than you get all the greatness my grandma called ” Herbes Salées du bas du Fleuve” which is the top notch of those conserves. With this mix you wouldn’t need any salt to season your soups, plus they give an extra fresh sea flavour to any dish. Salicorne can be difficult to find but they sell it in some speciality shop in dry form. Many types of saline herbs exist around the globe so pick up the one more familiar to you whether it’s called glasswort, pickle-weed, samphire, etc. Anyhow, if you don’t have those herbs at home just use a nice sea salt.
Sometimes people make roux for thickening their soups, but here no need of extra flour or cornstarch, just have to blend up the cooked potato and corn in the end and you’ll get a super smooth base. Plus, a nice bite from those reserved corn grains.
Additionally, the turmeric powder will bring this nice bright yellow color to the chowder, plus it’s a super healthy spice. As for the yellow bell pepper, I added mine in the end for a nice fresh crunch but if you prefer, you can add it in the beginning of cooking. Like any other chowder… it’s better to wait a few hours before serving, to make all those flavors merge. Just be careful, once the cream and cheese is in, you should not overheat the soup, just warm it up gently until fuming but not boiling. Otherwise it will curdle.
So let’s make this chowder!
Healthy Corn Chowder
- 4 corns
- 1 big potato
- 1 l vegetable broth
- 200 ml cream
- 2 small onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (*optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp turmeric powder (*optional)
- aged cheddar (to taste)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp salicorn (*optional)
- Start by softening up the onions in some olive oil or butter for 5 minutes.
- Cut the corn grains with a knife and dice all the vegetables.
- Add the diced potato, garlic, corn grains, *salicorne marine herbs and laurel leaf to the soften onions.
- Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
- Cook slowly, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes.
- Once cooked, take out the bay leaf.
- Blend with the immersion blender the soup until half smooth (you still want some pieces here and there).
- Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.