Corn Chowder

Corn chowder, a fine way to put bacon into soup.  Serve with crackers or the beer bread I’m going to share in my next post.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (two cloves)
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 42 oz. chicken stock
  • 2 large potatoes (I prefer to leave the skins on, but peel if it makes you happy.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 lb bag frozen corn, or 6-8 ears grilled corn on the cob
  • 1 tsp chipotle*
  • 1 tsp dried basil or thyme
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Place bacon on sheet pan in 350° oven for 15-20 minutes.  While bacon is cooking, finely chop all vegetables.  (Your food processor can help!)
  2. When bacon is done, pour 2 tablespoons bacon grease into a dutch oven or soup pot.  Add chopped vegetables, except potatoes, and saute until soft, 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir in thoroughly.  Keep stirring the flour and vegetable mixture for a minute or two to brown the flour.  (While not a true roux, it’s still a combination of fat and flour intended to thicken the soup.  It’s a start.)
  4. Add chicken stock, potatoes, and bay leaf.
  5. Bring soup to a full boil and maintain for 7-10 minutes.  This will break down the potatoes (hard, partially cooked potatoes are bad) and help thicken the soup.  Use this time to chop bacon and parsley.
  6. Reduce to a simmer and add cream, corn, bacon and remaining spices.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  (If using milk or half and half as a substitute for heavy cream, do not allow soup to return to a full boil.  The dairy product will separate.)
  7. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and serve.  Cheese makes a tasty garnish.

*I use canned chipotle peppers that I’ve pureed in the food processor, but you could substitute 1/2 teaspoon chipotle seasoning if you prefer.

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