We had our first flakes of snow today, and I spent the whole morning sitting in the woods waiting for deer, with no luck, just wet clothes and boots, so it seemed like a good day for a hearty soup (which we are calling chowder to fool my husband). This is a pretty quick soup, as soups go, but you could make it more homemade by shucking your own corn and making your own chicken or vegetable stock. You could even make it in a slow cooker, and if I were more energetic, I might even make it on the grill.
I’m adding bacon and carrots to this chowder, and though you don’t need a reason to add bacon to anything, I do think it will add the depth of flavor I’m looking for. If you’re looking for a lighter version, skip the bacon and the cream, peel the potatoes, and pulse them in the stock before adding the other ingredients. It won’t be the same as using cream and a roux, but it will be a little thickened, and really, you don’t want a chowder to be thick like gravy, you want it to be more of a thin cream soup.
Colorful Potato Corn Chowder
1 lb thick sliced bacon, diced
1/4 cup bacon fat
3 large carrots, cut in small dice
1 medium onion, diced
2 quarts organic chicken broth
1 bag frozen corn—mine was yellow and white combined
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (I roast a lot of it and keep it in logs in the freezer)
3 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered
1 cup heavy cream
roux of 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
- Cook diced bacon over medium heat until browned in large stock pot. Remove and reserve bacon. Pour off all but 1/4 cup bacon fat.
- Sauté diced onion and carrot in bacon fat until the onion is translucent.
- Pour in the chicken stock. Stir in the frozen corn, parsley, and garlic. Bring to a low boil.
- Stir in the quartered potatoes and boil for about 15 minutes or until done.
- Stir in cream and bring to a simmer, then stir in roux, continuing to stir until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. This is a small amount of roux for the large quantity of soup, but you just want to bring the cream and stock together. I think some people make the mistake of making the roux at the beginning of the cooking, then try to cook the potatoes in the thickened stock, and that would result in a lot of sticking in the bottom of the pot. It’s better to stir it in at the end.