I feel like I have had a more intimate relationship with corn this year than I have before. Corn is prevalent here in Vermont. The roads we drive regularly are lined with them, and so we have seen their growth from start to finish, and finally to harvest.
It is harvest time here in Northern New England. We spent the weekend doing our own harvest – 75 feet of potatoes, yielding just over 35 lbs.of wholesome goodness. We planted 8 varieties of heirlooms this year, with whimsical names such as Purple Viking, Austrian Crescent and Rose Finn Apple. We also harvested the rest of our heirloom tomatoes – Pink Brandywine, Black Krim, Bonnie Best and of course the ever present Romas. We had some cold days, which killed most of them sadly. But we managed to save enough to enjoy over the next few days. We also harvested our bush beans, another 75 feet worth of plants – Black Turtle, Royal Purple and Blue Lake. We haven’t weighed the beans, as they are still in various stages of drying. But it looks like it was a good harvest.
Wednesday is the Autumnal Equinox, the official first day of autumn. Commonly a harvest time in many parts of the world. Living in a northern climate, you certainly feel it in the air. Something has shifted. It is that crispness in the air, mingled with the smell of burning wood, damp earth and rotting leaves. Earthy, pungent and comforting. This kind of weather calls for comfort food, which is where fresh corn chowder comes in. Corn is everywhere, and so now is a good time to stock up for winter, and also enjoy some fresh. But that chill in the air calls for a hearty and warming bowl of steamy goodness – warming you, inside and out.
1 TBS olive oil
3 slices nitrate-free bacon, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup leftover diced potatoes
4 cups fresh corn off the cob
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp Calabrese ground peperoncini or hot smoked paprika
½ cup white wine – I used Viognier
2 cups stock or water
½ cup plain yogurt
3 TBS butter
In a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat sautee the bacon, onion, and carrot in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add the garlic, and pre-cooked potatoes and sautee about 5 minutes. Then add the corn and spices and sautee until corn becomes soft and glistening. Then add the wine, stock or water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Then stir in the yogurt and butter right before serving.
Serves 4-6, depending on portion sizes.