feelings of fall

Today was the first day in Chicago that really felt like fall.  I had a bowl of warm oatmeal rather than my greek yogurt/granola combo of summer.  Suddenly shorts and a tank are no longer suitable running attire and sleeves are necessary.  The sidewalks are laced with the first fallen leaves and the sun begins to set at 6:30 rather than closer to 8.  Although I really was jipped with a summer (bar exam, few “warm” days), I am looking forward to the change in seasons.

Often times when I tell people that I moved to Chicago from Texas, they look at me in disbelief (even more so when this comes up in say, February). People don’t understand why someone would move to a place with months and months of winter but so far I love it. I enjoy living through all 4 seasons and having the leaves turn red in orange around Halloween and Thanksgiving rather than around Valentines and then really relishing the coming of Spring and Summer.  One of the best things about early fall is the fact that sweet corn can still be found at the market and the cooler evenings really call for a nice creamy soup with a hunk of bread for dinner.  This corn chowder is different from my summer standby but equally as good and is definitely a keeper.

Grilled Corn and Potato Chowder
Adapted from Cooking Light-September 2009

4-5 small red potatoes (about 1 pound), quartered
3 tablespoons butter
4-5 ears of corn
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chili peppers
3 cups of 1% milk (really whatever you keep on hand)
1/2 cup half-and-half
2-3 springs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

Turn on the oven to broil. Place potatoes and 2 big pinches of salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and let the potatoes stand in the hot water for 5 minutes. Then drain and allow to cool so that you can handle them, then cut into 1/4 inch cubes.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush evenly over the shucked corn. Place the corn on a grill pan and place under the broiler for 7 minutes. Turn the corn over and broil for another 7 minutes. (This can also be done on a grill, but I don’t have one and found that this method worked well.) Allow the corn to cool until you can handle. Cut the kernels from the cob. The best way to do this is to take a large bowl and place a smaller nesting bowl in the center to prop up the cob while the larger bowl catches the kernels. Place 1 cup of corn in a food processor and process until smooth.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add 1 pinch of salt and the chipotle peppers, cook for another minute. Stir in the diced potatoes, remaining corn kernels, pureed corn, milk, half-and-half, and thyme sprigs; bring barely to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. Discard the thyme springs (count to make sure you remember how many you threw in) and stir in the chopped chives and thyme.

Serves 4-6.

10 responses to “feelings of fall

  1. This looks fantastic! I love the “soup season” and completely agree with your take on the 4 seasons. Living in Minneapolis is not so different from Chicago – and yes, today required sleeves on the run. But it also means that I can pull out my fun “fall” jackets that will work until it gets really cold. Changing wardrobes is like changing the dinner menu – it’s got to go with the season. Thanks for sharing this recipe – i’ll have to work it into the soup rotation!

  2. I ripped out this recipe when I saw it. Now I will definitely have to make it. YUM.

  3. The change of seasons is the best part of midwestern living. Glad you appreciate it. The soup looks wonderful – we had heirloom tomato soup last night. It’s just time for soup now isn’t it?

  4. That looks terrific Whitney! I haven’t gotten around to reading my Sept issue of CL but clearly I need to 🙂 I’m with you on the changing seasons – love them.

  5. Yum. CL is one of my favorite food magazines, although I’m not too thrilled with the “new look”. But I did see this recipe and now I am tempted to make it sooner rather than later!

  6. Wasn’t it gorgeous today!??!? All I could think about yesterday and today was going for my first run in the OFFICIAL fall weather!! I feel like our fall is far too short so I plan to enjoy it while we have it 🙂

    So sorry to hear about your PF…. it’s definitely a pain!! I’ve debated gettingthe shots so it was interesting to hear about your experience!

  7. What a beautiful and hearty soup. Perfect for the fall.

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  10. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂

    Robert Shumake Paul Nicoletti

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