Fresh Sweet Onion and Corn Chowder from Southern Farmers Market
Cookbook by Holly Herrick
One of the things I get most excited about in spring, at the first
blush spring and early summer, are the pearly-white bulbs of sweet
onions with their glorious crowns of grass-green stems. Pulled fresh
from the just warmed earth, they ooze spring freshness that belies the
dormancy of winter though which they’ve tenaciously grown while the rest
of us have mostly slept. They are put to good use in this delicate,
sweet chowder, in which onion flavor is layered with pungent notes
throughout. Look for the Silver Queen variety. Its crunchy texture pops
in each creamy bite.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup pancetta (or substitute bacon), cut into 1/4” cubes
3 medium fresh sweet onions, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
(reserve the green stems from 1 of the onions for garnish)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons sweet or dry vermouth
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob of 2 to 3 ears of corn
1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon butter, optional
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter together in a large
saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the pancetta cubes; toss to coat.
Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until lightly browned on all
Add the onions; stir to coat.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium.
Cook until softened, stirring from time to time, or about 12 minutes.
Add the fresh thyme, vermouth and wine. Bring up to a boil and reduce
Cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the stock and corn.
Bring up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook until corn has softened, about another 15 minutes.
Add the half-and-half and remaining tablespoon of butter.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with a sprinkle of freshly cut thyme and some of the reserved
onion greens, lightly chopped.
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Southern Farmers Market Cookbook by Holly
Herrick (Gibbs Smith, June, 2009)