Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weekend Cooking; Corn Chowder

We have sunshine today and it's been a glorious day. It's rained all week though which made me wish for some sort of soup solace.  Last night I made a corn chowder recipe that I've been waiting for just the right opportunity to create.  That opportunity arose when Groovy Girl was invited to a sleepover yesterday.  She and I had discussed this chowder and she'd told me in simple words "no thanks".  I waited until she was rolling down the driveway with her friend Emma before I started tossing ingredients together.

With little girl out of the house it defaulted to date night.  We ate the soup, two bowls full, and then watched a movie together.  I still managed to fall asleep by a little after 10.  Bedtime rocks.

Corn Chowder
{adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook}

4 slices of organic/local bacon
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 T unbleached flour
1 cup chopped onion or 1/2 cup shallots
1/2 cup chopped and peeled carrots
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 tsp thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes (I did not use)
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 bay leaf
3 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T thinly sliced scallions or minced fresh chives
Extra cooked and crumbled bacon for topping

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4-5 minutes.  Using a slotting spoon, remove the bacon and set it aside on paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tsp of fat from the pot.

Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium heat.  Add the flour and stir until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes.  Add the onion or shallots and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally.  Add the bell pepper and thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring until everything is well combined about 1 minute.  Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaf, and the reserved bacon.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, let come to a simmer, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.

Add the corn and let simmer until the corn is tender, 4-6 minutes.  Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, press against the side of the pot to mush up the potatoes and veggies and to thicken the broth.

Add the milk and heavy cream, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until tiny bubbles form along the edge of the pot, about 7 minutes.  Don't let the soup come to a boil or it might separate.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as necessary.  Fish out the bay leaf, then ladle the soup into bowls and top with chives, scallions, and/or bacon.

This was a perfect easy meal. My husband had some fresh bread with it. I was happy with just the chowder.  I'll try this again in the summertime with fresh corn.  I didn't have any good potatoes to use so I just skipped the potatoes;  it still tasted great.  The soup wasn't as thick but the flavor was spot on.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click to her link to find many other food-related posts.


Couscous & Consciousness said...

Groovy Girl just doesn't know what she's missing :-) This sounds fabulous. I love corn chowder - I especially love that using frozen corn enables you to inject a little bit of "sunshine" into a cold winter evening.

Beth F said...

I love this cookbook!!! And that chowder sounds fantastic (I haven't made that one yet). As for the girl? Ah well, more soup for you! LOL.

Laurie C said...

I love corn chowder, too, but with the potatoes in! Here we seem to consider chowder a warm-weather food, but also fine for cold weather, so I guess it's great anytime!