I love when recipes get passed down. It's a moment when so much can be shared. I was recently spending time with my husband's family while my mother-in-law was making one of my favorite soups for dinner.
I asked if I could tag along as she made the yummy chowder, and she kindly agreed.
We chatted about how she came upon the recipe, and how she has changed it over the years to suit her tastes. It was wonderful to watch a seasoned home cook easily work through her ingredients and seamlessly pull them together.
You may be wondering, why a soup as we head into summer? Well, my mother-in-law lives in the Pacific North West, and it was a rather rainy day. Also corn is coming into season there, and this soup is such a lovely way to highlight the delightful sweetness and wonderful bite of each corn kernel.
Not to mention that once the starchy potatoes meld with the other ingredients, a wonderful kind of comfort magic happens. We may be quickly approaching the warmest months of the year, but honestly, I can't think of a better soup to settle into as a good summer thunderstorm rolls through.
Recipe (adapted from this classic): Serves 10-12
- 10 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1/4 c olive oil 4 large onions, chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 3 lbs medium diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled
- 8 cups corn kernels, fresh(9-10 ears) or frozen
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 lb sharp white cheddar cheese
In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon in the olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the bacon fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the red pepper and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 10-20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cobs and blanch the kernels for 2 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn, skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup and cook until the corn is just tender. Then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook until the cheddar has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a bacon garnish.
*If you would like to make this a vegetarian soup, skip the bacon and substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth or water. You may also need to add additional olive oil or butter for the onions. Make sure to really caramelize the onions to add depth of flavor.
*Last time in Recipes: 10 Snack Recipes for Wandering