CORN, SAUSAGE, AND WILD RICE CHOWDER
- 12 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups wild rice (about 7 1/2 ounces)
- 6 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels (about 2 1/2 pounds) thawed (donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use white Ã¢â‚¬â€œ too sweet)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 16 ounces fully cooked smoked sausage (such as kielbasa, for lower fat, use Butterball Turkey Kielbasa), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 carrots, peeled, diced
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups half and half (I use fat free evaporated milk)
- Chopped fresh chives or parsley
Bring 5 cups broth to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add wild rice, cover, and simmer until all liquid evaporates and rice is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 60-70 minutes. (I don't worry if there is any liquid left when rice is done since it is flavorful and will be added to the soup)
Meanwhile, blend 3 3/4 cups corn and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth in processor until thick, almost smooth puree forms. Heat vegetable oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sautÃ© until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and onions and stir 3 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups chicken broth and bring soup to simmer. Reduce heat to low, uncovered, and simmer soup 15 minutes.
Add cooked wild rice, corn puree and remaining 2 1/2 cups corn kernels to soup. Cook, uncovered, until wild rice is very tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in half and half. Thin soup with more chicken broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm soup over medium-low heat before continuing.)
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chives and parsley and serve.
Recipe can be halved easily. However, it also freezes well so if you don't eat it all within a few days, you can freeze it.