Tomato and Corn Chowder with Thyme

With an abundance of tomatoes right now thanks to my father in-law and Avalon Hill (thanks!), we thought Joanne Weir's "Tomato and Corn Chowder" would be a quick, easy, healthy way to use them all before they went to waste.  This recipe came sirendipitly into our email inbox last week; she's a gem, and you can sign up for her newsletter here.

Like everything, I can't just leave well enough alone so I made some modifications.  Instead of the chives, I added some thyme because I just felt like it needed a little stronger herbal touch.  I used more tomatoes and didn't drain or seed them.  I added more butter, less water, and I also cooked it for a little longer.

The result is a hearty, yet summer-y and vegeterian chowder that makes a great meal, especially served with some toasted crusty bread.  If you were to use olive oil instead of butter, you could make it vegan.

Here is our variation:

2 large Russett potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cups chicken stock
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked, kernels removed 
1/2 cup heavy cream
7 ripe medium-size red tomatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 sprigs of thyme

Bring a large pot three-quarters full of salted water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until tender, 10 minutes.  Prep everything else while the potatoes cook.  Drain and reserve.  

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, 7 minutes.  Add the corn but reserve 1 cup of it for later.  Add the chicken stock, the thyme, and 2 cups water.  Simmer until the corn is very tender and the liquid is reduced by one quarter, 15 minutes. 

Remove the thyme stems from the soup, by now most of the leaves will have fallen off.  Puree the mixture with an immersion/stick blender until very smooth.  Add the cream, the reserved corn and the potatoes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Heat over medium high heat just until hot, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook 6-8 more minutes.  Serve hot with toast and possibly a dry white wine.

Serves 6

Authordavid koch