Creamy Corn Chowder
At serving time, top this cheery soup with a small handful of popcorn, more fun and less work than predictable croutons. Just be sure to pop enough corn for snacking and sharing with the chickadees along the way. I prefer double-smoked bacon for this recipe; it has more smoky bang for the buck.
- Serves: 8
- Course: Lunch
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 2 cups (500 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and grated
- 2 cans (each 14 oz/398 ml) cream-style corn
- 1½ cups (375 ml) corn kernels (canned, fresh, or frozen)
- 3 cups (750 ml) 2% milk
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (250 ml) 35% cream
- ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped parsley
- ½ tsp (2 ml) turmeric powder (optional)
- Popcorn to garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, fry bacon until crisp. Reserve half of bacon, draining it on a paper towel. Tilt pan and push remaining bacon up the side. Using a sheet of paper towel and tongs, remove most of fat from pan, leaving about 1 tbsp (15 ml).
- Add onion and red pepper to bacon remaining in pan. Sauté until vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add stock and grated potato. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in cream-style corn, corn kernels, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend in cream, parsley, turmeric (if using), and reserved bacon. Gently heat through until almost, but not quite, boiling. Ladle into a preheated thermos (see Tips, below). To serve, top with a small handful of popcorn.
- Variations Meatless Corn Chowder
- Replace bacon with 3 cup (75 ml) diced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Skip Step 1, and sauté tomatoes, onion, and red pepper in 1 tbsp (15 ml) of oil from the tomatoes. Proceed with remaining steps; there’s no need to reserve any tomatoes.
- Creamy Corn and Crab Chowder
- Add 4 oz (12 g) lump crabmeat to chowder and cook until heated through. Pour immediately into a thermos.
- - Preheat a thermos by filling with boiling water. Allow it to sit for at least 2 minutes, then drain.
- - Wide-mouthed funnels used for canning and preserving are ideal for transferring thick soups from saucepan to thermos. Look for them at the hardware store.
- - Omit tarragon, chervil, and green beans. Just before serving, toss potato mixture with 2 finely chopped green onions, 8 oz (250 g) of crumbled blue cheese, and ¼ lb (125 g) of bacon, cut into ½" (1 cm) strips and cooked. z Replace tarragon and chervil with a small, finely chopped clove of garlic and 2 finely chopped anchovies. Add 5 or 6 pitted and sliced black olives with green beans. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley before serving.