Corn Chowder 
Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 6:49PM

All winter long, I trudged through the snow to go to the farmer's market. Martyr, no. Winter warrior, yes. Or so they called us at the Tribeca Greenmarket. And for those of us who braved the elements for 10 weeks, we were rewarded a $5 gift certificate and accolades from our peers. OK, the latter is a bit of an exaggeration. But the certificate was greatly appreciated.

In my view, the real winter warriors were a small group of farmers, who drove into the city every Saturday despite the frigid weather. The largest group of vendors were meat and poultry farmers (Hudson Valley Duck, Dipaola Turkey Farm, Yellow Bell Farm), but the Amish farmer from Millbrook Dairy was also there selling eggs, cheese, bacon, smoked ham hocks and pickles, as was the The Hot Bread Kitchen and Ronnybrook Farms. There was also a small number of fruit and vegetable farmers who were selling produce out of their root cellars.

In the deep freeze, I really appreciated the fresh carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, cabbage and apples that the farmers squirreled away. It also made me appreciate that there was once a time when people needed to store up for the winter if they wanted produce. 

Now that the polar vortex is a distance memory, I am happy to say that the greenmarket is back in full swing. And slowly but surely, late spring vegetables, fruit, and flowers are showing up, as well as fresh fish, cheese and mushrooms.

This week, I came home with a bonanza which included rhubarb, lettuce, mesclun, chives, radishes, red scallions, asparagus, green house tomatoes, mushrooms and peonies. Yes peonies!! My favorite. Fresh cheese, bread and bacon ends also made their way into my basket. (I also spotted leeks, spinach and other greens -- but that is for another day.)

It will be a while before fresh tomatoes and corn make their way to market. But fresh corn from California seems to be popping up in the grocery stores, and it is quite good. I picked some up this morning and decided to make some corn chowder for a light dinner. The leftover has been slated for brown bag lunches this week.

This recipe hails from June 2014 edition of Martha Stewart Living, and was quite easy to put together. Shallots, white wine and bacon lend flavor to the soup, while a few (new) potatoes add additional texture. The recipe calls for the addition of a chopped green zucchini -- which I did not have on hand and omitted.

After the corn and potatoes were cooked, I gave the soup a few quick whirls with my immersion blender. This thickened the soup nicely and gave it more depth. I then finished it off with a splash of cream for richness, and some chopped chives for color and flavor. 

This soup was really lovely and would be a wonderful way to use up left over corn on the cob or new potatoes. Best of all, it was done in under 30 minutes! 

Now I will just need to wait patiently for fresh berries and stone fruit to show up!

The printable recipe is here.

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