Corn and Bok Choy Chowder
On wintry days, I take a bag of summer out of my freezer in the form of corn—the very corn I bought last August and took the kernels off of the cob so I could have that fresh taste when the snow flies. You can substitute corn from the grocery store for this chowder that feeds a crowd, and is packed with flavor from the stock made from the corn cobs as well as a bevy of available veggies, such as zucchini, bok choy and onions.
1/4 cup diced pancetta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 cups chopped bok choy
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium yellow squash, diced
½ cup diced sweet, red bell pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 chicken bullion cube, crushed
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
11/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups of reserved water if using fresh corn, or 2 cups of water for frozen corn
Corn kernels from the 4 fresh ears above, or 3 cups of frozen corn
Salt, to taste
Grinding black pepper
Dash of paprika
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced, fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1. Strip the corn kernels from the cob and set aside. Place the cobs in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook 10 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve 2 cups of the water.
2. In a soup pot, cook the pancetta in the olive oil until the pancetta begins to render its fat. Stir in the onion, bok choy, sweet potato, yellow squash and bell pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and the crushed bouillon cube. Stir in the turmeric. Cover the pot, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften.
3. Pour in the evaporated milk, cream and the 2 cups reserved corn cob water or 2 cups plain water if using frozen corn. Bring the mixture to just under the boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook for another couple of minutes.
4. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper; stir in the paprika, parsley, thyme and nutmeg. Serve hot.