Generally speaking, I am not a fan of soups in the summer, but a hearty corn chowder does hit the spot on a rainy summer night! This soup uses fresh summer corn and repurposes the cobs into a stock before hitting the compost bin. No waste here! This soup has layers of flavor from rendered pancetta, a little bit of whole grain mustard and parmesan cheese rinds to up the umami and balance out the sweetness of the corn.
If you’re like me and you like to prep out ingredients ahead of time to cut down time in the kitchen, I’d recommend removing the corn kernels, chopping the pancetta and making the corn stock a few days ahead and storing them in the Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum Food Storage System. Prepped ingredients and leftovers will stay fresh up to 5 times longer in these containers and to be honest, I’m obsessed.
- 4 ears of corn, kernels removed, cobs reserved
- 3 cups chickens stock
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- 1 (3 inch) piece of parmesan cheese rind
- 6 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
- 1 medium spanish onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- 11/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt, to taste.
- Coarsely cracked black pepper, to taste
- Chives, thinly sliced for garnish
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
Using the back of a butter knife, scrape down the cob into a stock pot, releasing the excess liquid and any extra kernels left over on the cob. Once done, the cobs should look dry and be free of any corn pieces. To make the corn stock add the chicken stock to the scraped corn mixture, cut cobs, parmesan rind and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once the flavors have melded together, remove the corn cobs, shaking out any excess stock, discard the cobs and if you desire you can strain the stock.
While the corn stock is cooking, make the base of the soup. In a Dutch oven, render out the pancetta/bacon fat over medium high heat. Cook until browned and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta bits and reserve for topping. To the rendered fat, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, 5-6 min. Add the whole grain mustard and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add corn kernels, potatoes and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
Add 3 cups of reserved corn stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender, add heavy cream and stir to combine. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup for 10-20 seconds making sure to leave some potatoes and corn intact. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved pancetta, thinly sliced chives and parmesan cheese curls.