Swapping half and half for cream and thickening the chowder with potatoes lightens this comfort food up for a weeknight meal.
Before I set you free with the recipe, I want to talk about this photograph for a minute. Traditionally food isn’t shot in high contrast light, but there are situations where it works better than diffuse light. When you need to highlight texture or the food is plain looking you can sometimes increase the visual appeal with shadow and harsher light.
For this photograph I brought the chowder into an interesting diagonal shadow coming through the window in the warm late afternoon light and put a polarizer on my 50mm macro lens. I then softened the light with a soft box coming in at the same direction. With my focus on the chowder, I shot it at a fairly low aperture of f/3.2 to soften the image around the bowl and to bring the intensity of the harsh light down a bit more.
If you're learning to shoot food I hope this gives you some fun ideas to try, but now that I’ve more likely lulled you to sleep, here’s the tasty recipe.
Lightened Up Weeknight White Corn Chowder
Do not add bacon. Do not pass go. Go directly to a kitchen, any kitchen, and make this corn chowder immediately. I promise you won’t regret it.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 (14.5 ounce) cans Swanson’s Organic Vegetable Broth or Organic Chicken Broth
2 large Russet potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper (I like my corn chowder really peppery and add the full teaspoon)
2 cups half and half
16 ounce bag frozen super sweet white corn
1. Heat the oil and melt the butter until it foams in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and starting to turn golden; about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if the onions start to burn.
2. Add the garlic, Old Bay and thyme to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 3 or 4 minutes stirring frequently. Deglaze the pot with some of the broth scraping down the bottom well. Then add the potatoes, the rest of the broth, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes fall apart with a few pieces left; 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Add the half and half and bring to a rolling boil. Stir often and boil until thickened to taste. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes stirring often so the corn doesn’t stick to the bottom. A little sticking is caramelizing, a lot of sticking is burning! Serve with good crusty bread.
Recipe & photograph by Laura Flowers.