Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cheesy Corn Chowder

In the early days of Gas Stove Girl, I shared a "lightened up" and super simple creamy corn chowder. It had all the basics that a great corn chowder should have -- bacon, cream-style corn, whole corn kernels, condensed potato soup, cubed potatoes. It's a delicious soup and I make it regularly.

Now that it is getting SUPER chilly in Boston (possibly SNOW FLURRIES in the forecast?! Say it isn't so!) I find myself frequently craving the warmth of a big bowl of soup.

And because I love cheddar cheese, I find myself frequently craving cheddar cheese.

...There is so much wrong with me. Just go with it. There is a cheesey soup recipe at the end of this musing.

The punchline: I decided to dizzy up my original corn chowder recipe by adding in some shredded cheddar cheese and playing around with some other measurements.

It's still not COMPLETELY sinful, considering how rich this soup turned out to be. So if comfort is your name, this Cheesy Creamy Corn Chowder is most certainly going to be your game (is that a saying? It sounds like it might be. Or some variation on a colloquialism?)

Here's what you need:

1 can (14.5 oz) Whole Kernel Corn, drained of excess liquid
1 can (14.5 oz) Cream Style Corn
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed potato soup
2 medium russet potatoes, cubed
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 to 2 cups fat-free half and half (or skim milk)
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (add more as you please)
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do:

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and melt in the butter. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until transluscent.
Add in the diced bacon and cook until crispy. You may also want to cook half the bacon in the pot and crisp the other half separately, then sprinkle it on top of each individual serving.
Add the cubed potatoes, whole kernel corn and the flour; toss to combine in the oniony, bacony, olive oily butter.
Stir in the cream-style corn, soup, chicken broth, and half and half. Bring up to a rolling simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt in the cheddar cheese, stirring occasionally until the cheese has incorporated into the liquid. If things are getting too thick, add another splash of chicken broth or water. Season it up again with salt and pepper!

Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, the soup is ready to eat! Garnish with more shredded cheese and green onions for a nice pop of color.

Cheese and bacon and onions are the ultimate trifecta. Add in the sweet crunch of the corn and tender potatoes, and this soup will keep you feeling satisfied and warm all night long.

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