Is it a soup or a chowder? Whatever it is just know that it is darn delicious. There are numerous recipes on this site for corn chowder but in my opinion this one ranks among the very best. It is a true fresh tasting soup from another of summer's bounty - corn.
I spent most of my adult years living in Calgary Canada and this is the time of year Albertans keep a sharp eye out on street corners and Farmer's Markets for the first of the Taber corn. Known as the corn capital of Canada, Taber is in Southern Alberta and the "super sweet corn grown here is five times sweeter than regular corn-on-the-cob. Apparently, it’s the amount of sunshine in this part of the Canadian Badlands combined with cool summer nights that gives Taber Corn its extra sweetness."
The season is short and the supply limited so the wise cook makes good use of each and every kernel (she/he) can. The recipe for last night's masterpiece is adapted from the Cookbook "High Plains, The Joy of Alberta Cuisine" by Cinda Chavich and it is truly wonderful. Loaded with all manner of vegetables along with chicken apple sausage and corn of course, this soup owes its fresh taste and creamy texture to buttermilk of all things.
I kid you not - it is absolutely not to be believed capital G good. Give it a try and see if I'm not right, but for heaven's sake please don't substitute anything else for the buttermilk. When I saw it I thought YUK, but darn - it's just the ticket! Betcha' you'll win some prizes with this one at your local county fair!
Southwestern Corn and Sausage Soup (adapted from High Plains, The Joy of Alberta Cuisine by Cinda Chavich)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped (seeds and membranes included)
1 pound apple chicken sausage, casings removed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large bay leaf
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 – 14 ounce can creamed corn
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup instant blending flour mixed with 1/4 cup water (optional)
2 cups buttermilk
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, chopped
Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, green pepper and jalapeno and cook until vegetables are softened (about 5 to 8 minutes). Add chicken sausage and cook crumbling well until sausage is no longer pink. Add red chili flakes, oregano and bay leaf, along with potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover pot and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover and add creamed corn and corn kernels. Simmer uncovered for additional 20 minutes. If you like a thicker soup add flour/water slurry and cook until thickened. Reduce heat; add buttermilk heating gently and stirring often until soup is hot. Do not boil or soup will curdle. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro and chopped green onions. Serves 6. Download Southwestern Corn and Sausage Soup
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