Recipe: Charlotte Shearin's Curried Succotash Chowder

Shearin's creative vegetarian take won first place in the innovative category at the 2010 chowder competition, held last February at Severn Sailing Association, in Annapolis. Her golden-hued creation has all the character of a great chowder even without the seafood.

Charlotte Shearin's Curried Succotash Chowder i i
Domenica Marchetti for NPR
Charlotte Shearin's Curried Succotash Chowder
Domenica Marchetti for NPR

Makes 8 servings

5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped (2 cups)

4 medium cloves of garlic, minced

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

3 cups frozen corn, defrosted

1 1/2 tablespoons ground curry, or to taste

1 cup lima beans, defrosted

1 cup edamame beans, defrosted

4 cups milk (Shearin uses fresh, lightly pasteurized whole milk)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chopped chives for garnish

Fresh rosemary sourdough bread, ripped up into large pieces (optional)

Put the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain them in a colander set in the sink and set aside.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot placed over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, salt and herbs. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Stir in the corn and curry powder and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the cooked potatoes and stir gently to combine.

Transfer a small portion of the sauteed vegetables to a bowl and, using an immersion blender, puree until thick and smooth (alternatively, you can use a food processor or a standard blender). Return the puree to the Dutch oven. Stir in lima beans, edamame and milk. Cook until the beans are tender and the chowder is heated through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and additional salt, if you like.

Garnish the chowder with a sprinkling of chopped chives and serve with chunks of bread on the side.

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