Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spicy Corn Chowder

Ok, I’m going to be honest. I did not make this. I had a root canal earlier in the day (hence the soup decision for dinner) and my wonderful husband Steve made the soup. And maybe it was because I didn’t help a lick, or maybe it was just made with lots of love, but it tasted really, really good. So good that I’m going to eat it again tonight.

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and the only tweaks Steve made were to double the bacon (because, c’mon, it’s bacon) and add an extra chipotle pepper and pepper (our changes are incorporated in the recipe). We thought about adding cheese but the soup really doesn’t need it. I would caution you that it’s pretty spicy. If you want a milder soup, only add one chipotle chile, and maybe not the entire can of green chiles.

4 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1-½ whole yellow onion, diced
5 ears corn, shucked
3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 4oz can diced green chilies
32 ounces, low sodium chicken broth
1-½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons corn meal OR masa
¼ cups water

Start with prepping everything. Trust me, this makes it way easier when you start cooking. Slice the corn off the cob, chop up your onion, bacon, and peppers. We got these lovely little glass prep bowls from Crate & Barrel that are just perfect for putting together a “mise en place.” Which is just a fancy way of saying “all the stuff I need to make this fantastic soup!”

Make this in a big pot, or even better, a Dutch oven. Cook the bacon pieces over medium heat for a couple of minutes (they won’t be fully crispy), and then add the diced onion. This is also when Steve added the pepper.  Cook the onion for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the butter. Once it’s melted, put in the corn and cook that for one minute. Throw in the chipotle and green chiles and stir until it’s mixed. Finally, pour in the chicken broth, cream and salt. Stir it up and bring it to a boil (you might have to turn the heat up a little for that… it’s ok.)

Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to low. I don’t know what masa is, so I just used the corn meal. Mix it with the water and stir it before pouring it into the chowder. This is the thickening agent. I think next time I might skip the cornmeal and use cornstarch instead. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. At this point you want to check the thickness of the soup. If it’s good, cover it and cook for another ten minutes. If you want it to be thicker (we did), add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed in a little water. I have to say, this soup is billed as a chowder, which I guess should be pretty thick. But ours came out more like a cream soup, and it was excellent. Not sure I would have wanted it to be too much thicker. After ten minutes it’s ready to eat, and it’s a really enjoyable soup. The corn was perfect—tender but still with that great crunch. I suggest you try it on one of these cool fall days, and if you can get someone else to make it for you—even better!

(Click here for printable recipe)

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