“Chowder’s good”

Finding free pictures of corn chowder while browsing the creative commons of flickr is not for the faint of heart.  It is not cool what people are doing to this soup– cheese, turkey, red peppers, tomatoes, big hunks of bread floating. Frightening.  However, they make my point (that I haven’t made yet, but will right now) that Chowders are simple and versatile.  Once you get the basic idea, you can add all kinds of things.

The essential, classic chowder ingredients are:  bacon, onion, potatoes, stock, milk, + whatever key ingredient defines the chowder– fish, clam, corn etc.   Yes, you can make it without bacon, but it really never seems like chowder without it.

Corn Chowder

4 slices bacon – cut into 1″ pieces (or more to preference)
1 large onion
a little butter or olive oil
2-3 cups frozen corn
2-3 medium red potatoes (depends on size and preference) – diced
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup whole milk or 1/2 & 1/2
parsley, paprika, butter for garnishing if want

Heat pot, cook bacon until crisp and remove to paper towel lined plate.
Skim off all but a couple tablespoons of bacon fat
Saute diced onion until just starting to brown, add butter or oil if too dry.
Add potatoes and stir to coat.
Add stock and bring to boil, simmer until potatoes are done– soft but not falling apart.
Use a fork to smash a few of the potatoes to thicken soup.
Add frozen corn and bring back to boil, simmer for a minute.
Add milk and or half & half, stir and heat just before or until it starts to boil.

You are basically done at this point.  Does it look good?  Does it need more broth? if yes, add a little more milk.  How does it taste?  Add salt as needed.

Ladle into bowls and serve with a bit of butter and bacon on top.  You can also add parsley and paprika.

Serve with bread and……maybe something green.  Or just bread.

Variations:  This is yummy with some shrimp thrown in at the just before you add the milk.  Don’t need many to make it special.

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