The Corn is High

It’s been a busy few weeks for me.  I changed hosting companies in preparation for setting up an e-commerce page for a line of handmade floral jellies (more about that later.)  And there’s almost daily weeding to be done in the garden.  It’s the heart of summer here in the upper Midwest, and that means fresh sweet corn, something I look  I look forward to all year.

Even in the summer I always make a soup of the week, and the corn at the farmer’s market was calling my name.  Corn chowder is rich, creamy and irresistible, and we’ll eat it for lunch all week, usually with a little fresh salad from the garden on the side.

When it comes to corn, I try not to waste any of it, the first thing I do is make corn stock.  You’ll need 5 to 6 ears of fresh sweet corn.

Corn Stock

Fresh Sweet Corn

The first step is to remove the husks and silk.  Once the ears are silk free, stand the cob upright with the big end down, and using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob moving from top to bottom.  Sorry, I don’t have any pictures since I needed both hands for this process, but this is what it looks like when you’re done.

Ater the kernels are removed

Set the corn aside and turn your attention to the cobs and the delicious corn stock that is the base for corn chowder.  You can use it as a base for any soup, but it really adds something special to corn chowder.  The method I favor is to put the fresh cobs in the slow cooker, cover with water, add a couple of bay leaves, and some salt and let it simmer on low for 4-6 hours.

Slow Cooker Corn Stock

It smells wonderful.  After 4-6 hours, you can strain the stock and pour it into jars and refrigerate for later, or use it straight away for chowder.

Creamy Corn Chowder

  • 4-6 cups corn stock
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (you can use canned or frozen)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half & half or heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter

In a large pot (you could also do this in the slow cooker, it just takes longer), sweat the onion, carrot and garlic in a small amount of stock.  When the onions are soft, add the rest of the stock, the corn, potatoes, salt and pepper, bay leaves and simmer for about an hour until the potatoes are soft.

Corn, potatoes and carrots

At this point, if a smooth texture is desired, you can puree in batches in the blender and return to the pan.  (I have a stick blender so that makes it easy.)  Add the cream and butter, and simmer gently for another hour.


Serve with crusty bread and a side salad for a great summer lunch or light supper.

Creamy Corn Chowder






Supper for a Cold Winter Night

Winter has finally arrived.  The nights are crisp and cold and darkness comes early, so a warm, hearty soup seems like the perfect way to end the day.  I love soups and chowders because they are so comforting and economical, and one of my favorite ways to add protein and save money too, is canned salmon.  This recipe is fairly low fat and low calorie with lots of good nutrition, and it tastes yummy too.  You can serve this with some crusty bread or crackers, and on the side I like to serve oven roasted root vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes.  This is one side dish that kids usually love because it’s sweet.  Below you’ll find both recipes.

Salmon and Wild Rice Chowder        

Salmon Wild Rice Chowder


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage or poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary (optional)
  • 1 6 oz package of cooked Wild Rice Bits and Basmati Rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or use chicken or seafood stock)
  • ¾ cup half and half (or whole milk if you prefer)
  • 1 6 oz can of wild caught salmon
  • 2 slices crispy bacon, crumbled


  1. Prepare rice according to directions and set aside.  (I use Minnesota Cultivated Wild Bits and Basmati Rice that is distributed by Red Lake Nation Foods in Red Lake, Minnesota.)
  2. In a heavy sauce pan or soup pot, sauté the chopped onion and celery in 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth until the onions are translucent.  Add the remaining vegetable broth, and the flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard and rubbed sage and/or other herbs.
  3. Stir in the cooked rice and the canned salmon.  Bring to a simmer and pour in the half and half or milk.  Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle bacon bits or parsley or chives on the top.

Side dishes help to make a meal complete.  One of my favorites is oven roasted root vegetables.  They’re fast, simple, tasty and so good for you.

Oven Roasted Beets, Onions and Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 bunches of small/medium beets, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 red garnet yam, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bit size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl or freezer bag combine the vegetables, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper and sugar along with enough olive oil to coat.
  3. Empty onto a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Stir the vegetables and pour 1/4 cup of balsamic vingar over the vegetables and return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.

Serve on side or over a bed of greens.  Save any leftovers for lunch.