I love recipes like this, dead simple and adaptable. You're looking at a creamy, delicious, slow cooker corn chowder. If you have a bag of frozen corn, an onion, and a few potatoes, you're well on your way. Wait, don't nod off! There are a few bright spots beyond the basics. In this recipe, you sauté the onions in ghee, but(!) clarified butter or olive oil will work nicely as well. And you season the chowder with miso, but(!) salt and pepper, or even soy sauce, ponzu, or a curry paste like this or this could take things in an entirely new direction. Try the miso version first, just because its so good. I guess all I'm saying is, don't let it stop you from making the chowder if you don't have one the miso or ghee on hand.
The recipe is an adaptation of the Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder from Slow Cook Modern by Liana Krissoff. I boosted my version with yellow split peas, for some extra diversity, and protein bump. Making it more of a one dish meal. She tops hers with a beautiful tomato-furikake salad, and uses fresh corn on the cob, perfect for summer when it comes. I've got mine topped with chunks of olives, and walnuts, and thin whispers of watermelon radish. And lots of chives.
Slow Cooker Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder
You're going to want to peel your potatoes. I don't normally, just a good scrub is fine, but if you leave the peels on here, they just end up floating around the soup in an unappetizing way. *If you have an Instant Pot or other multi-cooker, you can cook the onions directly in the device. To make this vegan, use olive oil in place of ghee.
2 tablespoons ghee (or clarified butter, or olive oil)
1 yellow onion, diced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound corn kernels, frozen is fine
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup dried yellow split peas, rinsed
7 cups water or vegetable stock
1/4 cup miso paste
serve topped with any/all of the following: toasted walnuts, chopped black olives, good olive oil or a drizzle of ghee, crispy shallots, chives, shaved watermelon radish
Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat*. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, sauté stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker.Add the corn, potatoes, and yellow split peas to the cooker, and pour in the stock. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
When you're ready to serve, stir in the miso paste, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spoon to break up some of the potatoes, or use an immersion blender to give the chowder a few quick pulses. This will thicken the chowder. It's basically up to you depending on how brothy or creamy you like it. Ladle into bowls and top generously with the toppings you like.
To cook on a conventional stovetop, you'll want to to let everything simmer until the potatoes and yellow lentils cook through, 30 - 40 minutes, then add the miso and proceed.
Adapted from the Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder in Slow Cook Modern by Liana Krissoff (Abrams 2017)
Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 6 hours minutes