Elevate The Classic Flavor Of Chowder With A Little Pureed Corn

corn chowder in bowl
corn chowder in bowl - Rudisill/Getty Images

In the realm of hearty and comforting soups, corn chowder stands as a timeless favorite, adored for its creamy texture and sweet, corn-packed goodness. While many corn chowder recipes follow traditional methods, there's a little-known secret that can elevate this classic dish to new heights: Pureeing a portion of the corn.

Corn chowder is, at its core, a celebration of the vibrant and sweet essence of corn. But if you're looking to intensify that quintessential corn flavor while simultaneously thickening your chowder, pureeing a portion of the corn is the key. The process is straightforward but has a profound impact on the final dish.

When you puree some of the corn, you're essentially breaking down the kernels into a smooth, creamy consistency, which allows the flavor of the corn to spread harmoniously throughout the entire soup. The method ensures that every spoonful bursts with the unmistakable taste of corn, turning an ordinary chowder into an extraordinary one.

Moreover, the act of pureeing corn releases its natural starch. Corn kernels are packed with starch molecules, and when pureed they disperse evenly throughout the soup. The starch acts as a natural thickening agent, giving your chowder a luscious, velvety texture. As the soup simmers, these starches work their magic, binding with the liquid to provide body and substance that transforms your corn chowder into a hearty masterpiece.

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Tips For Optimal Corn Puree

roasted corn on the cob
roasted corn on the cob - GulyaevStudio/Shutterstock

To fully embrace the art of pureeing corn for your chowder, it's essential to choose the right ingredients. Begin with selecting the corn itself. For the best flavor, opt for fresh summer corn harvested during the height of the season, roughly May through September. This prime-time corn is at its sweetest, offering a burst of sunshine in every kernel. The natural sugars are at their peak, and the corn's essence shines through when pureed.

A delightful enhancement to this method is lightly roasting the corn before pureeing. Roasting corn kernels in a hot oven or on a grill caramelizes their sugars and adds a smoky depth to the chowder. It's like adding a layer of complexity to the flavor profile, making the chowder even more irresistible. All you have to do to add it to your soup is remove the kernels, mix with a little milk and blend until smooth. You can puree up to half the amount of corn in the recipe.

But the wonders of pureed corn don't stop at corn chowder. This technique can be employed in a wide range of soups and stews, each benefiting from the robust corn flavor and thickening power. For instance, consider incorporating pureed corn into clam chowder, where its sweet undertones harmonize perfectly with the delicate seafood. Or experiment with it in a Mulligan stew to add a touch of summery brightness to this rich, meaty concoction. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.