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This soup is my idea of the harvest of late summer. I like okra a lot and I think it is underrated. What can I say about yellow corn, divine! I am not a big fan of milk in chowder, so this suits me down to the ground! You can make it using frozen okra & corn, but…
¼ lb. (4 oz.) ½” thick slices pancetta, cut into medium dice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 lb. fresh okra, tops & tips removed, cut into ½” slices
14 oz. tinned plum tomatoes, drained & coarsely chopped
7 cups chicken stock either homemade** or purchased low salt chicken broth
1 tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried
Approx. 1 ¼ lbs potatoes , peeled & diced
2 large ears yellow corn, kernels cut from the cob
Melt the butter & oil in a deep pot on medium heat, when melted & hot add the pancetta. Brown pancetta, remove & set aside. Add the onions, shallots & okra. Cook over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften and become golden. Add the tomatoes & cook 5 more minutes, stirring. Add the stock, salt & thyme.
Add the potatoes & bring to a boil, turning down the heat to medium & cooking for 10 minutes, skimming the surface of the soup, if necessary. When the potatoes are nearly done, add the corn and cook for 5 or 6 more minutes. When corn & potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat and allow the chowder to rest for 15 minutes. Just before serving stir the pancetta into the soup and serve garnished with a few leaves of fresh thyme.
**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.