Lean Summer Corn 'Chowdah'

I fess up that I Tex-Mex'd this New England favorite with jalapeño and Mediterranean'zd it with olive oil. Then I went and made it milk and cream free, skinny. The sheer irreverence. I should have just called it Summer Corn Soup but I find corn and New England clam chowder, exotic.

Speaking of skinny, I have started again going to the gym regularly. I am back, though a long way from whipping myself back into the shape I was in a couple of years ago. I even started to Zumba for the first time, though I probably look completely ludicrous doing it. You have to see the instructors quivering, muscles that I didn't even know existed, as if we were at a Mardi Gras parade in NOLA or at Carnival on streets of Rio.
Skinny isn't really the goal as much as feeling healthy. The endorphins are pumping. I feel happy. I do eat in moderation but I haven't given up My Lunches with Jeanne and my mini DC food crawls. 

Odds and ends:

Back in April this year the Washington Post Cookbook was published and one of my recipes, Quince Honey Challah Knots, made it through to the pages. A different photograph I took of the challah knots was also published along with the recipe. 

Thank you, my friends on Twitter and Facebook, who came to my rescue, explaining chowder. I served this soup along with Tex-Mex chicken fajitas with whole wheat tortillas, home-made salsa, this time I didn't roast the vegetables, and guacamole. The contrast of the super sweet, in season, corn and the kick from the jalapeños, in the chowder, was distinct, opposite yet harmonious. 

Corn Chowder

5 corn on the cobs
1 medium/large onion, diced
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1-2 jalapeños 
1/2-1 red bell pepper

Remove the corn kernels from the cob with a knife as shown in this NYT video. I slice the kernels off the cob as shown in the first technique. Do not pre-cook the corn. 

Core and seed the bell pepper and stem the jalapeños. Grill or broil the peppers until charred on top and flip with a stainless steel spatula and continue charring on the other side. Take the bell peppers out and let cool. Dice with charred skin on.

In a large pot over medium heat sauté the onion in the oil until it turns soft and translucent. Add the corn and potatoes and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer. Add the chicken stock jalapeños and bell peppers and cook until the potatoes are fork tender and fall apart. 

Mash the chowder slightly with a potato masher to thicken the soup. Some of the potatoes will mash. Serve hot. Keeps well refrigerated and gets thicker the next day.

Cook's note:

1. This soup didn't need any additional salt. The chicken stalk had salt in it. Just as a general rule, when it comes to corn, I find that, because of the sweetness, it does not require any, or much added salt.

2. I used only 1/2 of a bell pepper. The other 1/2 I used as a layer in a sandwich. You absolutely can use the entire bell pepper in this chowder, if you wish.