Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Corn Chowder

Sweet corn season will be over before we know it! I have eaten my fair share of summer corn and I am sure going to miss it when I will have to resort to the frozen packs of corn during the winter. One of the best ways to use fresh sweet corn is in a fresh summer chowder. This can be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon and instead cooking the corn and onion in a bit of butter over medium heat although Paul would balk if I EVER were to make this without the bacon. In fact, when we made this for dinner last week, he actually came home and fried a couple extra pieces so his bowl could have some "extra garnish." Matthew, who has inherited his father's deep passion for all things bacon, was certainly singing Paul's praises as he fried up the extra pork fat.

With or without bacon, the corn is truly the star of this chowder. Pureeing a couple cans of corn with a little chicken broth helps lend a smooth consistency to the soup without having to resort to adding extra cream and drowning out the corn flavor. Serve with a side of corn bread or hot buttered rolls for dipping!

Fresh Corn Chowder
adapted from Cook's Country

6 large ears of corn
2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
5 cups chicken broth
3 slices of bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup heavy cream or half/half
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Cut the kernels from the ears of corn and reserve kernels and cobs separately. Puree the canned corn and 2 cups of broth in a blender until completely smooth. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Cook the onion, corn kernels, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in bacon fat until vegetables are softened and golden brown.

Add the potatoes, corn puree, remaining broth, and reserved corn cobs to dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Discard cobs and stir in cream, scallions, and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!

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