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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Corn Chowder

I picked up some fresh sweet corn at the farmers market yesterday, along with some other goodies that you will see appear over the next few posts. I am a sucker for sweet corn; if I walk past it, I must buy it. However, I feel like I've cooked it every which way already this summer. UNTIL....I found this great recipe for corn chowder on, which turned out to be delicious. You can really taste the great fresh flavor of the corn within the soup.

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 strip of bacon
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 large carrot, chopped
1/2 celery stalk, chopped
3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs, cobs reserved
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups milk
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped (I used green because my tummy hates the red ones)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (I used a little tiny bit of dried)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon strip and fry until the bacon renders its fat, but doesn't begin to brown, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.

Break the corn cobs in half and add them to the saucepan. Add the milk and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Raise the heat, add the potatoes, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender.

Raise the heat, add the corn kernels and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

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