I’m sure you’ve heard the news. People aren’t really talking about it, but it’s true. Summer. Is. Over.
Now let’s pretend for a moment that we actually had a summer to begin with, but if you live in Toronto you can sympathize with me that this was not exactly a dog-days-of-summer kind of season. We had rain, we had cold temperatures, and we had infrequent appearances of the sunny blissful days we all hold our breath for. Okay, my rant is complete.
One thing I have stayed committed to despite the uncharacteristic weather is eating like it’s summer: Local peaches and berries, heirloom tomatoes, and lots of sweet Ontario corn have graced my table just the same. I adore sweet corn and eat it any way possible for as long as Mother Nature will allow it.
This soup is a perfect dish to ease into the transition of colder months. It celebrates the summer with fresh flavors and nutritious seasonal ingredients but is warm and fulfilling at the same time. It’s texture is creamy from the potato and coconut milk with lovely bursts of whole corn kernels and it gets freshness from the cilantro and lime with a kick from the chile. This is pretty much the ideal September meal.
While my days of cooking with fresh corn are coming to a close, I will drag my feet as long as possible to ward off winter. I believe in the power of taking a stand for our seasons and telling the climate to slow down a bit, sort of an “If you cook it, it will come” mentality. I am doing my part for the masses.
Goodbye Summer Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk and Chile
Yield: 8 Servings
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large red onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh corn kernels from 8-9 cobs of corn
2 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
3 cups light coconut milk
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Lime, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Add chili powder and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring as needed.
Add potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the corn and season with salt. Add stock and coconut milk and increase heat to high to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and flavors have melded. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Working in batches, blend half of the soup in a blender until relatively smooth but still holding some texture. Add the blended soup back into the stockpot and stir to combine well. Serve with a squeeze of lime and garnished with the cilantro.
**My Two Cents: If you prefer less heat, leave out the jalapeno. The red pepper flakes will provide enough of a kick for a mild soup.
** Like any soup, this is even better the next day so don’t worry about having too much. Your lunches will be increasingly tasty.