Sometimes I drive myself batty, and most likely my family, with my blog ideas. We had Corn Soup on the French Fridays with Dorie schedule this week…and I’d been meaning to make a favorite corn chowder recipe since eating my first ear of sweet corn this July. Who cares if they both have a boatload of different garnishes? Or that my kitchen would be full of dirty chopping boards and pans once both were made? I was just antsy for soup after a long, hot summer where any added heat in the kitchen would have been insane (but maybe I was there already???). Our cool mornings this week were teasing us with their autumnal breezes…and I was ready!
Dorie’s recipe started with stripping the kernels off of fresh corn on the cob, then steeping milk with the leftover corn cobs. Onions, carrots, celery and garlic were sautéed, then milk, rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf, and the corn were added to the vegetables and simmered till the flavors infused the broth. Dorie suggested pureeing the soup, but I kept mine chunky…and garnished with bacon, corn, and a red chili pepper. Scallions and creme fraiche were forgotten in the fridge. But I did have shrimp…and placed 3 on top of each bowl. The subtle essence of the herbed broth danced on my tongue, and each bite brought another delicious element to the forefront…and reminded me that Dorie has the knack for layering flavor upon flavor. Dorie’s recipe can be found in Around My French Table or in Bon Appétit.
Then on to the chowder. Chopped bacon and onions were sautéed, flour added as a thickener, then chicken broth and cubed potatoes. When the potatoes were almost tender, the corn and chicken were added, then finally a little cream. This chowder was garnished with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and lime juice. A heartier, dinner soup. I couldn’t get away with serving Dorie’s soup as an entrée, but I could with this chowder. And now I’m thinking it could be improved upon by infusing some herbs. So maybe it was good that I did a side by side comparison??? There was a split decision, but I could eat either anytime, anywhere!
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (may want to use an extra slice or two to garnish)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups shredded chicken
- 3 cups corn, cut from the cob or frozen
- 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped or grape tomatoes, halved
- I avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste if needed
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook until bacon starts to brown. Remove any you'd like to reserve for garnish. Add onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for about 3 minutes without browning the flour.
- Add potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add cream to taste. Cook for about 2 minutes, till heated through. Serve garnished with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, reserved bacon, a squirt or two of lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
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