|Steam the clams until just opened, 3 to 4 minutes.|
|Remove the opened clams.|
|Sauté onion, leeks, carrots, celery until al dente.|
Corn Chowder with Clams and Jalapeño
Serves 6 to 8
This recipe demands fresh corn, preferably corn picked the same day that you make the soup. If the corn is too old, it turns starchy and the soup will not have the same sweetness. But if it’s just a few hours old, the soup will be sweet and have a delicate flavor you’ll never forget.
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 pounds (about 4 dozen) littleneck clams in the shell, scrubbed clean
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 leek, white part only, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 8 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked, kernels removed, reserving cobs
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Juice of 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded and minced
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Prepare the chowder: In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock and white wine to a boil with the garlic and thyme. Add the clams, bring back to a boil, cover, and steam until the clams are just opened, 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the liquid into a bowl and discard any unopened clams. Remove the clams from their shells and set aside.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter. Sauté the onion, leek, carrot, and celery over medium heat, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Pour in the clam liquid and bring to a boil. Add the corncobs and the corn kernels, reserving 1 cup kernels for garnish. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cobs and strain the soup into a clean saucepan. Transfer the strained vegetables to a blender or food processor, pour in the cream, and process until pureed, still retaining a little texture. Stir back into the soup and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, add the reserved clams, and simmer for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, prepare the jalapeño cream: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into heated bowls, making sure that there are clams in each bowl. Spoon a little of the jalapeño cream in the center, passing the remaining cream in a small bowl. Garnish with the reserved 1 cup corn kernels and serve immediately.