I don’t know how the weather has been where you live, but down here in the South, I think Mother Nature is going through a mid life crisis. One day it’s freezing, the next it feels like spring. These last few days have been pretty cold ( after I post this it will probably be a balmy 60 degrees) and on cold days and evenings, that makes me want to cook something warm and comforting. What could be better than some creamy homemade soup…..or corn chowder in this case.
I really haven’t eaten a lot of corn chowder, but for some reason I’ve had a craving for it lately. Yes, fresh summer corn would be the best, but it’s not summer and unfortunately, all of that delicious corn that I put in the freezer at the end of summer is gone. But I found that frozen corn can be tasty as well. This chowder does take some prepping, but the end result is oh so worth it. It has sweet corn with onions and garlic. There is also some chunky potatoes, carrots and smoky bacon ( anything is better with bacon right?) with a touch of a few spices and some cream to add that nice creamy texture, All of this in one bowl that tastes like a soul satisfying hug.
This chowder is great as a side dish, but also hearty enough to be the main star. So grab your spoon and a big bowl and here’s what you need to make your own.
*5 slices of bacon, chopped
*2 TBS. butter
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1 large carrots, chopped small
*2 garlic cloves, grated using a microplane or minced
*2 TBS. flour
*2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/4 inch cubes; I prefer using russet potatoes because these are starchier potatoes that will help thicken the chowder.
*4 cups fresh corn cut off the cobb or frozen (defrosted)
*4 cups chicken or vegetable broth; I used Better Than Bullion
*1 tsp. dried Thyme or 1 TBS. fresh Thyme or more to taste
*1 tsp. sweet paprika or more to taste
*1 Bay leaf
*1 cup cream
*salt and cracked pepper to taste
*chives or scallions for garnish (optional)
Heat a large pot to medium high heat; add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy stirring often.
Remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Pour off the bacon fat but leave 1 TBS. in the pot; turn the heat down to medium and add in the butter. When the butter is melted add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are softened, about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Add the flour, cook while constantly for about 1 minute or until the flour appears mixed in.
Add the corn and the potatoes to the pot and stir together.
Pour in the stock and turn the heat up to medium high heat then add the Thyme and paprika.
Stir until the broth starts to bubble. Add the Bay leaf, cover and turn the heat to simmer. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes and the carrots are tender. Discard the Bay leaf.
Take off of the heat and add in the cream. With an immersion blender, blend until some of the vegetables are smooth, but still leave a good many chunks. You can also take about 1 to 2 cups of the chowder and blend in a blender, then add it back into the pot.
Turn the heat down to medium and add in the bacon pieces. Continue warming the chowder while constantly stirring about 2 to 3 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with chives or scallions
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