I love soup and chowders in the Fall... when the air starts to get that chilliness to it, Soup just hits the spot. I saw this on a cooking show on PBS and had to give it try.
Smoky Shrimp and Corn ChowderI bought frozen shrimp which I let thaw out in the refrigerator. Then I washed and shelled it. I husked 3 ears of corn. This I put on my Traeger smoker, which I had set to 275 degrees. I set my shrimp on a vegetable grill tray that I sprayed with a non stick cooking spray. I put the tray in the smoker along with my husked and rinsed corn on the cob. I let this smoke for 30 minutes.
• 1 pound smoked large shrimp (smoked for 30 to 60 minutes at 300 degrees F)
• 2 ears corn, smoked with shrimp
• 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
• 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 2 leeks, trimmed, thoroughly washed, shaken dry, and thinly sliced
• 4 red new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon flour
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken or fish stock, preferably homemade
• 1 cup heavy cream
After the corn and shrimp are smoked; set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the shallots and leeks and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, 3 minutes, stirring often.
Increase the heat to high and add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook until the potatoes are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Cook another minute.
Stir in the chicken stock and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, chop the smoked shrimp into bite size pieces and cut the corn off the cob. Add to the chowder along with the cream and simmer until the soup is richly flavored, 5 to 10 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve with crusty french bread.
Tips: I boiled by shrimp shells in the chicken broth while the shrimp and corn were smoking. Then I strained it and used that broth in my soup instead of regular chicken broth.
I also made a white sauce with the heavy cream, like you do for macaroni and cheese only without the cheese. Then I added to the soup when it says to add the cream. This just makes a thicker chowder like soup. Feel free to just use cream if you like.