Basil, broth, Cauliflower, Corn, Garlic, Leeks, Rice, Spices, sun-dried tomatoes, white wine
Okay. Right off I want you to know that The Goddess is misleading you. Yup. She’s leading you down the culinary garden path. She broiled the corn; she has no grill. And creamy? There is no cream, either. But, I’m here to tell you. This is truly delicious! Yes. Every now and then The Goddess likes to mess with you. She needs to get out a bit more, I think. But alas, this was just so good. It turned out so much better than even she thought it would, so she needed to share it now. Here in the South, people tend to like fresh corn more mature than The Goddess likes it. She prefers it younger and therefore, a tad sweeter. But, we work with what we have. This soup is creamy, but I swear, there’s no cream or any dairy in it. I cooked cauliflower and rice in chicken broth.
The creaminess comes from puréeing the cauliflower and rice. Years ago, I mean decades, I had a lovely, creamy soup and the waiter told me that it contained no cream. That came back to me, so this is where I wandered and the path is good. Very good. And tasty, too. I decided I wanted to add tomatoes, but I opted for sun-dried, instead of fresh or canned tomatoes.
I reconstitute them in white wine. I opted for leeks, instead of onions, but that’s just because, well…I love leeks. Cut the corn kernels from the cob of the grilled corn and add to the pot. Add the broth and simmer for 5 minutes (the veggies won’t be completely cooked). Add the sun-dried tomatoes, with the soaking liquid; simmer for 10 minutes. When the corn is just tender, pour the corn mixture into the puréed cauliflower mixture, give it a good stir to combine. Grate the nutmeg in, taste and correct the seasoning. I decided to add some shredded basil, lots and lots of black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes and that’s it. Serve with good bread (cornbread is particularly nice). Pretty simple, really.
Creamy Grilled Corn, Leek and Sun-Dried Tomato Chowder
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- Dry white wine to cover
- 1/4 of a large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/2 cup raw rice
- 4 cloves garlic (I peel them and leave them whole)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3-4 ears grilled corn-on-the-cob (I used 4)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil (see NOTE)
Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl; pour the white wine over (I heat the wine), just until the tomatoes are covered. Set aside.
In a large sauce pan, place the cauliflower florets, the rice, garlic cloves, a large pinch of kosher salt and the broth. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat; lower the heat and simmer until the rice is over-cooked and the cauliflower is falling-apart tender. It took about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly; purée using a blender or an immersion blender, right in the pot. I use the immersion blender.
While the cauliflower is cooking, husk the ears of corn, rub them with olive oil and grill (or broil) until the kernels begin to brown. Turn as needed. Watch carefully, so they don’t burn. It took about 15 minutes. Remove and cool slightly, until you can handle them.
Place the leeks, the bay leaf and a large pinch of salt in a medium pot. Cut the corn kernels from the cob; add to the pot. Cover, by about 1/2-inch with broth. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes (the veggies won’t be completely cooked). Add the sun-dried tomatoes, with the soaking liquid; simmer for 10 minutes. When the corn is just tender, pour the corn mixture into the puréed cauliflower mixture. Stir to combine. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, taste and correct the seasoning. Sprinkle a large pinch of the chiffonade over each bowl, grind black pepper over and serve with good bread (cornbread is particularly nice).
NOTE: If you are using basil, think of it as a garnish. But, if you wish to use thyme, add the sprigs to the broth with the cauliflower, but remove the “twigs” before blending. Rosemary should be chopped and added with the corn.
Creamy Grilled Corn, Leek and Sun-Dried Tomato Chowder Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.