Amazing Corn Chowder

soup and breadI’ve had a bag of frozen corn in my tiny freezer for two months. This is unacceptable because the freezer is tiny and if it is full of corn, there isn’t any room for ice cream. I have my priorities.

I bought the corn when I made barley succotash and I’ve had the leftover bag ever since. When I need to add a vegetable for dinner, I often tell myself I’ll just heat up the corn, but I never do. I like corn on the cob, corn bread, and corn in things. But plain corn on the side isn’t very interesting to me and so the bag languished in the freezer. 

Then I saw a fairly recent post from Amateur Gourmet for corn chowder. I thought this would be perfect, but then he said it wasn’t worth doing with frozen corn. Sigh. It’s the end of the summer and corn season is over so I moved on.

Until it was Monday. On Monday nights I like to go to Zumba. I like to eat before Zumba so I don’t feel faint and famished but I can’t eat too much or I’ll feel sick. But, I also need to make something hearty enough so Ryan has a real dinner and not rabbit food. So I thought back to corn chowder, and advice be dammed, I was going to try it with frozen corn!

editedI’m so glad I did because this soup is freaking delicious! The soup is wonderfully flavorful. This is one of the best soups I have ever had. The corn gives it sweetness and the cayenne pepper (which is my personal addition) gives just the whisper of heat. And the cream makes it feel so rich, but with only one cup in the whole pot you don’t have to feel too guilty. It is hearty but not heavy (seriously, I went to Zumba and felt fine and thought about the soup the whole time). Ryan gave it a 9 out of 10. I kept loudly saying, “this soup is so good!” I was mad when I had to leave for class and couldn’t have a second bowl. Try it, this is a wonderful soup.

Adapted from Amateur Gourmet who adapted it from Jasper White.

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of frozen corn

4 oz of slab bacon, cut into 1/3″ dice

2 tbsp butter

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes peeled, and cut into 1/2″ cubes

about 5-6 cups of chicken stock (enough to cover everything)

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp minced chives

Instructions:

1. In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp. Spoon out all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat.

2. Add the butter, onion, bell pepper, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Look at the pretty spices! They will make the soup pretty too. Add a pinch of salt. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring every so often.

3. Add the corn, potatoes, and stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Using a wood spoon, smash some of the corn and potatoes against the side of the pot. This will help thicken the chowder. Reduce the heat to medium and taste for salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the corn starch mixture.

6. Bring the soup back to a boil and stir until the chowder has thickened to your liking.

7. Turn off the heat and add the cream. Adjust for salt if you need to.

8. Serve and top with chopped chives.

2 spoonMessy level: There is a lot of cutting prep work for this recipe, that’s the only reason I will give it a 2 spoon rating. Otherwise, it’s just dump it all in the pot and wait for it to get delicious.

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