I don't have any fond childhood memories of corn chowder. But if I'd eaten it as a child, I would have. Chowder has that pleasant mingling of body, sweetness, and saltiness which fends off the cold gray world outside (which I also wasn't exposed to as a child in sunny SoCal; I suppose it was a trade-off).
I like traditional chowders, but cooks usually use short-cuts to creaminess through the likes of butter and heavy cream. I half-improvised this lighter version, drawing from this over-the-top recipe in the Boston Globe as well as from my basic experience with cheese sauces and puddings, which thicken by the same principle.
(Makes 3-4 servings)
-one large potato, cubed
-1 cup fat-free chicken broth
-1 tablespoon canola oil or light butter
-half a small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
-15 oz. can sweet yellow corn, drained
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-1 cup light soy milk
-garlic powder, black pepper to taste
Place the potato cubes and chicken broth in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 10 minutes until potatoes are tender. In the meantime, saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the drained corn and flour and stir over medium heat until slightly browned. Add the potatoes and broth to the corn mixture. Stir in the soy milk. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the soup has thickened. Flavor with garlic powder and black pepper and serve with a hearty bread on the side.