A deliciously light Shrimp and Corn Chowder with all the taste of Southern Comfort Food without all the guilt. If you love this, you will also love this Cajun Clam Chowder.
While Spring has been here for a bit, the weather in Chicago is just now catching up. And because the weather has brightened my spirits, I’m excited to share this lovely recipe from my new fave cookbook Lighten Up Y’all by Virginia Willis.
SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER RECIPE
Let’s start with the recipe. Virginia Willis is an authority on Southern cuisine. I love her special niche of mixing in her French classical training with her roots of good ole Southern cooking. Both actually come together seamlessly. I have been a fan of Virginia’s for such a long time so I was super excited when this new book was announced last year.
This book is the ideal manual for those that still want that down home comfort food without all the guilt. It is the perfect marriage of the two. Going through the book for the first time was hard. I loved the introduction but as I got into the recipes, I realized I wanted to make everything I saw and narrowing down what to make was going to be my biggest challenge. For some reason, I went with the Georgia Shrimp and Corn Chowder.
I had some shrimp in my freezer that needed to be used. So, this was the perfect time to do so. The chowder doesn’t take long to throw together. Virginia tells us about the importance of layering flavors, which you can definitely taste in the finished product. The end result is a hearty fulfilling soup minus all the fat. I enjoyed two bowls and decided I would be making this shrimp and corn chowder again this summer when corn is plentiful.
If you love other summer corn recipes, you will love my mama’s fried corn recipe, this Southern succotash recipe and this Mexican grilled corn on the cob recipe. I even love adding corn to my favorite Mexican cornbread recipe!
Shrimp and Corn Chowder
- 1 pound unshelled large shrimp 21/25 count, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
- 1 sweet onion coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot coarsely chopped
- Scraped kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn about 2 cups, cobs reserved and halved
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons pure olive oil
- 1 poblano chile cored seeded and chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 large russet potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 6 ounces)
- 3 springs fresh thyme leaves only
- 2 bay leaves preferably fresh
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 12 grape tomatoes quartered, or 1 ripe tomato, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Smoked paprika for garnish
- Put the shrimp shells in a medium pot and add the coarsely chopped onion, carrot, and halved corn cobs. (It's all about building layers of flavor.) Top with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and decrease the heat to simmer. Cook until the broth is slightly colored and smells lightly sweet, about 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl, discarding the solids, and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the poblano, celery, chopped onion, potato, and reserved corn kernels. Add the thyme, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp stock and milk, then cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover, decrease the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- To finish the soup, in the stockpot, using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Or, ladle the soup into a blender and puree until smooth, a little at a time. Leave it coarse and chunky if you prefer a more rustic soup or puree until smooth for a more elegant soup. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. If needed, rewarm the soup over medium-low heat. Stir in the reserved shrimp and tomato; cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley and taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide among warmed bowls and sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately.