I love corn chowder, but sometimes it can be a bit of a production to make a truly flavorful version of it. So I set out to develop a recipe that would deliver plenty of flavor without hours at the stove. By starting with really good, fresh sweet corn, leeks, and fingerling potatoes (all fall favorites at the farm stand), I was on my way. I also used the cobs, and corn “milk” scraped from the cobs, to boost the corn flavor in this recipe. Then the broth gets spiked with garlic, jalapeño, smoked paprika, and sriracha hot sauce. Finish with a shower of chives, and the result is a fresh, flavorful chowder in about an hour.
In a medium (5- to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and ½ teaspoon of salt, stir, and cover loosely. Cook, uncovering occasionally to stir, until the leeks have softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue cooking the leeks until they begin to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes more. Add the garlic, jalapeño, paprika, 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt, and the bay leaves and stir well. Add the reserved corn cobs and pulp, the potatoes, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Add the corn kernels and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, remove the corn cobs, and add the half-and-half, chives, several generous grinds of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of Sriracha. Stir well.
Spoon into soup bowls. Serve with the lime wedges, and pass the Sriracha.
From Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.roostbooks.com