Tuesday, November 13, 2012

hearty corn chowder




Although there was a little bit of a warm up around here yesterday, it's still the heart of soup season and it seems as though I can't get enough. Even on the rare date nights out I'm finding that I'm choosing the soup over salad option almost every time...and I haven't been disappointed yet. I've sampled tomato basil & feta and hearty minestrone versions around town and the weather is still cooling down. 

I've been busy cooking up my own pot and this week was a delicious combination of vegetables and smokey bacon...and I couldn't have been happier with the hearty results.

Corn Chowder (serves 8 generous portions)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 strips of bacon, chopped or diced
  • 3-4 small-medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2c water*
  • 1 extra large vegetable bouillon cube*
  • 2 c milk (any variety will do)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups corn, off the cob (or frozen & thawed)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce, like Frank's
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • green onion, for garnish 
*substitute  2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups vegetable broth.

Getting started:
 In a large soup pot cook the bacon over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until cooked and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and drain it on a paper towel.--don't drain the fat from the pot.

Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and bell pepper. Stir and cook about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the butter and the potatoes and allow to heat about 2 minutes until the butter is melted. Give it all a good stir, then stir in the flour. Cook an additional minute.

Add the broth and cover the pot. Increase the heat to medium high and cook about 5-7 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften and the broth starts to thicken. Stir once or twice during this time.

Reduce heat back down to medium and slowly add in the milk. Once heated through, add the corn. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes , then add in 1-2 tsp of hot sauce depending on how spicy you like it. (1 tsp should be sufficient for just the slightest kick or you can omit this step). Stir in about 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard.

Add the bacon back in and serve with green onions as a garnish and THIS along side.


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