Friday, October 9, 2009

Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder

Thanks to last weekend's trip to the country, I had some end-of-the-summer corn. And thanks to my cookbook whoring, I also have one of the latest amid a proliferation of vegan cookbooks, Lauren Ulm's Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday, which is based on her popular blog, Vegan Yum Yum. So having fresh corn on hand, some basil fading out in the planter box, and a bit of a cookbook habit, I tried her recipe for Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder.

This is a simple soup, but it took me an hour to put it together because I had to shuck the corn, rinse the corn, cut the corn, dice the onion, and dice the potatoes. Then you have to transfer some to a food processor, then back to the pot. The recipe calls for 5-6 ears of corn, but I used eight; and I used six potatoes instead of the called-for five, and adjusted the other items accordingly. The only ingredient I was missing was lime juice.

My knife skills definitely need work and I'd love to take a class AND buy some fancy high quality knives. I think that might make kitchen life easier. But really, it IS a simple soup to put together, and I imagine using frozen corn would save a chunk of time. But as the summer's vegetables fade away, I wanted to make use of some beautiful farm fresh corn and highlight it in a dish.

I found the soup to be a standard corn chowder. Very good, but I missed the chipotle. If anyone knows me, you know my distaste for bland food and my constant need to smother everything in black, red, or white pepper AND hot sauce. However the first time out I like to try a recipe as written by the author, then make my tweaks. I almost added more chipotle, but really didn't want to overpower the soup, and I wanted to check the starting point. There was a hint of smokiness in the background, which is probably fine for most people. But I'm not most people and I don't like hints. I like full on in your face flavor. But if your palate leans more toward the softer side of life, stick with the recipe as written.

Overall, very nice corn chowder and the fresh basil brings it alive. Changes for next time: frozen corn for time and more chipotle in adobo for flavor.

And yes, there's a container in my freezer with a label that reads "Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder 10/8/09." Label makers are magnificent.


  1. Thanks for the review!

    Now, how do you think the basil will taste in it when you ramp up the chipotles in adobo since adobo is such a distinctive taste? I've just never thought to combine basil with chipotles in adobo.

  2. haha! I don't check my own blog!

    I'll probably just add the same amount of basil and amp up the chipotle a bit, not caring if I lose the basil. It's not a combo I typically think of going together either, but it somehow worked. I don't want to overpower the flavors though, so I'm talking about adding just a tad more chipotle in adobo, juuuust enough to give me the oomph I need. I think it will still work with the basil.

  3. I just got this cookbook and was eyeing this recipe. Thanks for the review. I think I tend to be with you on subtlety, so I might go ahead and throw down with the extra chipotle.

  4. IIRC, the recipe only calls for a tspn, so you could possibly try a tblspn or go for a full chipotle if your tastebuds are like mine! :)

    I'd love to hear how it turns out!