I've recently had the joy of being humbled by a soup so amazing that I'd travel three hours to experience it again. It was a special at the Oyster Club in Mystic, CT, where all the food is farm to table. In fact, during the summer, the menu changes daily, based solely on what is freshest and available. The chef even butchers his own meat. When I saw scallion and corn chowder on the menu, it sounded so interesting... but for a summer soup, it also sounded heavy. I asked about the base of the chowder, and our waitress, Drew, told me that it was mostly the pureed vegetable, and just a tiny bit of cream. It sounded lovely, and since it was vegetable (not cream) based, I gave it a try. Suffice it to say, I might have embarrassed myself with all the gushing I did over this appetizer.
After returning home, I sent a message to the restaurant asking to please share the recipe. It's been two weeks and I haven't heard back, so I decided to attempt it myself. I remembered what Drew told me and tried to replicate it.
To make the soup a little looser than the uber-thick pureed vegetables, I used some of the water from the boiled the corn (bought frozen corn -- I'm sure fresh would be much better) as a base. I added cream, but in such a small about, it's almost negligible. My seat-of-my-pants recipe was so easy and so tasty, I can hardly believe I created it. I am no chef, but I'll say that this recipe makes a sweet, and slightly spicy soup (the spice comes at the tail end of the flavor, and might go unnoticed -- feel free to add more). I'll note that I didn't add salt to the recipe, but I added it to my bowl and definitely think it enhances the flavor, so feel free to salt to taste.
|Stolen Scallion and Corn Chowder|
This is a simple recipe. I made enough to feed an army, I'd say 12 bowls worth, and I did it so that I could put the remaining soup in jars in the freezer (I love convenience). Feel free to split the recipe in half. To make this, you will need two pots and a blender (I used my Nutribullet, and blended in three batches).
In one pot, combine the water and the frozen corn and cook until it's hot. Add freshly grated nutmeg.
|Water, corn and freshly grated nutmeg.|
The freshly grated nutmeg is far and away better than the pre-grated. If you don't use fresh grated, I'd omit it entirely.
While the corn is boiling, put the butter in the other pot on low to medium heat and sauté the white part of the scallions (and a few green stems, for color) until soft. It's not too important how well it's cut, because it's all going to blend into a puree. Add the jalapeños and the cilantro and allow to sit and cool.
|I did this in batches, because I didn't know how much I'd need. Your pot should be three times fuller.|
Blend the butter pot with the corn, adding the half and half and some water from the pot. That's it. Simple!
What you'll need:
- 32 oz. (2 lbs.) frozen corn (or fresh equivalent)
- 9 thick scallions
- 8 jalapeño slices/wheels
- 6 T butter
- 3 T half and half
- handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 t freshly grated nutmeg
- salt, to taste
And if you are planning a trip to Mystic, be sure to reserve a table at the Oyster Club. You will not be disappointed.