The Farmer’s Market yielded some great finds today: mini pumpkins for 50 cents, a big bag of hazelnuts of $6, seed garlic to plant tomorrow, and fresh ears of local corn for 50 cents each. The best find this week, however, was the big bag of chanterelles that Kirsten had Andy deliver to me! Those, together with more that Laura and her friends foraged near the Cowichan River were the basis for this sweet corn chowder.
There is no better source to use when looking for inspiration for a mushroom dish than Bill Jones’ The Deerholme Farm Mushroom Book. We followed his recipe for corn chowder with porcini mushrooms fairly closely, but adapted it by substituting chanterelle mushrooms, adding some fresh rosemary and smoked salmon to provide more flavour contrasts (and to give it that Pacific Northwest feel), and garnished it with grated black truffles brought to me by Denise all the way from Abruzzo in Italy. This chowder was truly a “potluck” dish. Thanks everyone for all your food gifts!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cups fresh chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped, plus 1 cup for garnish
- 1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4-5 ears fresh corn
- 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
- 1 or 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup diced smoked salmon
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 tsp finely grated black truffles (optional)
- With a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the corn cobs, but save the cobs. Peel and dice the onion and roughly chop the mushrooms.
- Heat the oil and butter gently in a large pot and add the onions. Sauté for a minute or two, then add 2 cups of the mushrooms and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms have softened but don’t let them brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Toss in the empty corn cobs for extra flavour.
- Add half the corn kernels. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the corn cobs and discard.
- Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pot.
- Add the diced potato and carrot, the remaining corn kernels, and 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary and cook until the vegetables are just tender. Very gently stir in the smoked salmon chunks.
- Meanwhile, sauté the remaining 1 cup mushrooms in a little butter until browned and a little crispy.
- Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the sautéed mushrooms, more fresh rosemary and grated truffles.