SoupsWhat to CookSummerHeirloom Recipes

A Bright Summer Chowder That Lets Corn Shine

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I want my peak season summer produce pure, mostly unadulterated. The first heirloom tomatoes should be dressed only with salt, and then perhaps paired with a smear of mayonnaise on a sandwich. I don't dream of letting them get lost in a salad until summer is well underway and I've all but forgotten that fall is right around the corner.

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Expensive tomatoes

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Corn is the same way. And, at least here in Michigan, we're on to that middle phase, the tomato sandwich equivalent. I'm not yet tired of corn on the cob with butter and salt (eaten typewriter-style), but I'm still ready to enjoy it in a chowder that lets the corn shine through. Luckily, sanscravat has one that perfectly fits the bill.


His Michigan Corn Chowder is a recreation of one he enjoyed at a roadside café in Michigan. It's fresh and light, thanks to an infusion of lemongrass and only a splash of cream.

Photo by Julia Gartland

And, lest you need just a bit more convincing, Sagegreen's review is sure to send you off to the farmers market in search of corn:

Enter the summer trifecta of vegetables. To make this chowder, you cut up red peppers and onions very democratically, the size of the corn kernels...with a resulting rendition of a summer mirepoix or holy trinity, only better. The aroma and colors are more enchanting. Lastly, a tiny splash of cream and a fresh garnish of parsley: Pure, clear, wonderful flavors of summer shine in your bowl.

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Michigan Corn Chowder

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Serves 4
  • 1 quart good chicken stock
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded & chopped to size of corn kernels
  • 1 small onion chopped to size of corn kernels
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
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