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Potato-Corn Chowder

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Cook Time: 2 hrs

Servings: makes 8 to 9 cups

Recipe By: Annie Somerville

From:  Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant
Used with permission of Scribner

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Potato-Corn Chowder

Hearty and versatile, this staple of our summer menu is made without milk or cream. Instead, sweet corn and new potatoes are cooked together in Corn Stock, then puréed to make the soup base. Kernels of corn, cubes of new potatoes, and celery add the texture. The flavors are rich and full, even better on the second day. This soup loves herbs - sprinkle with chopped basil, Italian parsley, marjoram, or chives. For a richer soup, garnish with grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle with parsley or chives.

7 cups Corn Stock
5  ears of corn, shaved, about 5 cups
1 pound new or White Rose potatoes, cut into small cubes, about 3 cups
 white pepper
2  bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon light olive oil
1  large yellow onion, diced, about 2 cups
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1  celery rib, diced, 1/2 cup
1/4  dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Make the stock and keep it warm over low heat.

Set aside 2 cups of shaved corn, then place the rest in a soup pot with half the potatoes; add 2 cups stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of the white pepper. Bring the potatoes and corn to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes begin to break apart, 20 to 25 minutes.

Purée the corn and potatoes with 1 to 2 cups stock in a blender or food processor, and then pass the purée through a food mill. Return the purée to the soup pot, add 3 cups stock and the bay leaves, and cook over low heat.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan, add the onion, dried herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of the white pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, celery, reserved diced potatoes, and reserved corn. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, another 7 to 8 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pan is almost dry.

Stir the sautéed vegetables into the corn and potato purée and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the soup over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil just before serving.

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