Elena's Curried Corn Chowder

Elena Embrioni, my vital recipe tester and contributor, makes wonderful soups—hearty and full of flavour. Like me, she doesn't typically write her recipes down. This corn chowder started with a soup of hers I love in her Southern Accent cookbook—a Cajun-style soup. After many variations, we added creamed corn and put tomatoes in at the end. The result is a cozy comfort meal in a bowl. 
SERVES 6

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder
  • 8 baby new potatoes, quartered
    (or 2 medium Yukon Golds, peeled and cut into chunks)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups (1 L) fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño or red chili pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine
  • 1 can (10 oz/284 mL) creamed corn
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) chicken stock
  • 6 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% cream
  • Chives, for garnish

In a large heavy soup pot, melt butter with oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add curry powder and sauté another minute. Stir in potatoes, salt and pepper; sauté another minute. Stir in corn kernels and cook until corn is lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper and jalapeño; sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir in wine and let evaporate. Add creamed corn and chicken stock, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove two-thirds of the mixture and set aside. Using a hand blender, purée remaining soup in the pot. Return reserved soup to the pot. Return to medium-high heat and add tomatoes and cream. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with chives.