Cheesy Sweet Corn, Red Potato and Bacon Chowder

Welcome back to QCK!

Today’s recipe is one for the soul. Perfect for stormy summer nights when you just want to stay inside and watch movies or when you just need something comforting and warm. We had this soup the other night for dinner with BLT’s, it was nothing short of perfection.

This chowder is nothing short of decadent. It’s a cream based soup that starts out with a roux made of bacon, garlic, onion and a little bit of butter. Then I added in cooked potatoes and sweet corn with a little bit of chicken stock, for a homey, savory flavor. All of that simmers for a bit to bring all the flavors together and then I mix in some cheese and to finish it off, top it with corn, chopped bacon, green onion, and cherry tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes add a subtle acidity that balances out the creamy, savory soup perfectly in each bite.

How To Perfectly Season Soup

I feel like I leave this note on pretty much every soup and sauce recipe, and it really goes for all recipes.

In order to get perfectly seasoned soup, you must consistently add small amounts of salt throughout the cooking process. For example, add a pinch of salt to your butter, onion and garlic mix. Then add another pinch when you add the flour. Add salt to your potatoes while the boil and your corn while it cooks. Add salt when you add the cream, add salt when you add the chicken stock. You want to add salt little by little at every step so it cooks with the soup. If you add a bunch of salt at the end, it’s all you’ll taste. Raw salt.

Worried about over-salting? Taste your food at every step of the cooking process. Too salty? Stop adding for the next two or three steps, then taste again and add if you need to. If you get to the finished product and it’s still too salty, add a bit of acid to balance it out. Lemon juice is the easiest way to correct over-salted food.

If you’re new to cooking, or are trying to be a better cook, this is a really important lesson. Not only will it help you to make better food, it will help you to be more mindful during the cooking process. Mindfulness is extremely important in cooking, but also in everything you do. Learning to be mindful in the kitchen can help you to be mindful at the dining table. Being mindful at the dining table can help you to be mindful at the desk and so on and so forth. Mindfulness is a form of meditation and is incredibly important for mental health. So taste and salt your food while you cook it to make better food, and as an easy mindfulness practice.

Substitutions and Add Ons

  • Bacon can be substituted for unsalted butter.
  • Unsalted Butter can be substituted for olive oil.
  • Heavy Cream can be substituted for 2% or whole milk, but will require you to work quickly as milk can curdle if heated slowly.
  • Corn can be fresh or frozen.
  • Red Potato can be substituted for gold or russet.
  • You can also add zucchini, summer squash, jalapeño, basil, sour cream topping, hot sauce (Cry Baby Craig’s is best in my opinion), potato chips or croutons for topping.

Recipe

Prep: 10 MinCook: 30 MinDifficulty: EasyServings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Small/Medium Red Potatoes, diced with skin on
  • 1 C Chicken Stock, devided
  • 3 Ears Sweet Corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 3 Pieces Bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, devided
  • 3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 C Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cherry Tomatoes, for garnish, optional
  • Green Onion, for garnish, optional
  • Chopped, Cooked Bacon, for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan filled with water, salt, and 1/3 C chicken stock, boil diced potatoes until soft all the way through. About 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, cut up the garlic, onion and sweet corn.
  3. In a medium sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter and add corn, season with salt. Cook until corn begins turns bright yellow and begins to pop, set aside.
  4. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp butter and add chopped bacon, onion and garlic. Sauté until bacon begins to crisp and garlic/onion are aromatic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. While constantly whisking, add flour to the pot of melted butter, bacon, onion and garlic. Continue whisking until flour and butter are completely combined and look like wet sand. If your roux is dry, add half a Tbsp of unsalted butter and continue whisking. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. While still whisking constantly, slowly pour the heavy cream in. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and continue whisking while cream heats up, you should notice it beggining to thicken.
  7. Once cream is fully heated and slightly thickened, add 3/4 C Chicken Stock, cooked potatoes and corn. Leave some corn aside for garnish if desired.
  8. Turn heat to medium low and let the soup come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  9. Once everything is heated all the way through, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese until fully melted.
  10. Give the soup one last taste to see if it needs any salt, pepper or lemon juice, see note on salting above.
  11. Serve with halved cherry tomatoes, bacon pieces, sweet corn and green onion.

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