Georgia has its’ Vidalia Onions. Idaho has its’ potatoes. Even Oklahoma has its’ (controversial vegetable) Watermelons. So it’s hard to believe (especially around this time of year) that Indiana hasn’t made Sweet Corn its’ official vegetable yet. Drive for several hours in any direction and as soon as the buildings disappear, 6’+ giant stalks appear. The ears are enormous and have a taste as sweet as anywhere you will find. I try to incorporate the delicious veggie into at least 2 meals a week while in season. So with that in mind, I made a trip to the downtown Indy Farmers’ Market to find the ingredients for some Sweet Corn and White Bean Chowder.
What you need:
1- Package Hurst’s® HamBeens® Great Northern Bean Soup
4- Cups fresh sweet corn (about 6 large ears)
1- Cup diced onion
1- Cup diced celery
1- Cup diced carrot
1- Cup diced potato
1/2- Cup heavy cream
2- Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crumbled bacon (for garnish)
Chopped green onion (for garnish)
1. Place the dry beans into a colander or sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Check for any small stones or debris and discard. Place the beans in a large (6 quart) soup pot and add 12 cups of water. With the heat on high, bring to a rolling boil, then cover and reduce the heat and simmer the beans for 1 hour.
2. While the beans are cooking, prepare the vegetables. Dice the onion, carrot, celery, and potato all into 1/4″ pieces. Boil the corn for 10 minutes, then remove from the water and allow to cool before cutting the kernels off the cob.
3. After cooking the beans for 1 hour, add the carrot, onion, celery, potato, corn and bay leaf into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil once again, then cover and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours, or until beans are tender. (***You can also add the used corn cobs back into the pot during this time to extract even more flavor. Just remove prior to the next step.)
4. Once the beans are tender, turn the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream along with Hurst’s ham flavor packet. Remove the bay leaves, then salt and pepper the soup to taste.
5. Sprinkle some of the crisp bacon bits, green onion and a little extra black pepper on top of the chowder. The results combine both the sweet flavor of the corn with the delicious smokey ham flavoring in the bean soup. I like to add a little hot sauce to my bowl and think it finishes the chowder off perfectly… Enjoy!
*This is my submission for this month’s My Legume Love Affair: 14th Helping. Hurst’s Beans is proud to sponsor this monthly event and will provide a bean prize to the winner! Thanks to The Well-Seasoned Cook for hosting this great event in August!