This meal practically spells comfort. By replacing heavy cream with milk, it still has all the taste and none of the guilt.

I took inspiration from traditional New England clam chowder to create my own version, using scallops and fresh corn.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 large carrot, finely diced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

One 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)

2 cups milk

1 pound sea scallops, halved or quartered if large

Crumbled, cooked bacon and sliced scallions, optional

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook two minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, chicken broth and 2 cups of the corn. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a blender combine the remaining 2 cups of corn and the milk. Add to the soup. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add scallops and cook 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem.

Garnish with bacon and scallions, if desired, and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Katie Lee Joel, author of "The Comfort Table," serves on the judges' panel of Food Network's "Iron Chef America." She can also be seen on the TV show "Extra" where she regularly appears as a special correspondent covering food and fashion. Joel lives in the New York area with her husband, musician Billy Joel.