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Have you noticed a theme? My last post had bacon, corn, and potatoes in it. So does this one. Well, my only excuse is my Nebraska heritage. That aside, this is a soup that I make often. It hails from an old Rachael Ray magazine I had. As fun as it can be to poke fun at her, I’ve got to say, anything I’ve ever made from her magazines has always turned out very well. My only gripe is that her 30-minute meals always take me longer. I’m admittedly a slow chopper, so I know that’s my fault. If you’re a quick chopper and you are a good multi-tasker (which I am not), then this will probably only take you 30-ish minutes.
I’ve made this soup quite often because, for one, it’s cream-based. In an ideal situation, I would love to be one of those low-fat broth-based or tomato-based soup loving people, but I’m just not. I’ve never enjoyed tomato-based soups, and chicken noodle soup is usually really boring. I mean, it tastes good, but it’s not a meal. It’s like, something you have with a hot sandwich. I love soups that are their own meals, and this is one of those.
I particularly liked making this soup tonight because I got to test out my newly sharpened knife. This was the first time I’ve ever had a knife professionally sharpened. I know many people probably do this often, and I have a great home sharpener so my knife wasn’t dull compared to many I’ve worked with, but what a difference! The thing I wanted to test the most was the chopped parsley, because, at least for me, fresh herbs are the most resistant to being chopped. They’re so delicate, and with anything less than a super sharp knife, they turn to mush.
If you’ve hung in with me so far on this blog, I’m so thankful. I’m going to try to post more often again, but admittedly I have a lot going on (school, work, life, etc). There have been many nights where I am cooking food I feel to be delicious but non-blogworthy. (Pizza? Burgers? Who needs a blog for that?) However, what I am realizing is that I usually end up blogging the food that I like best, which isn’t always the fanciest, but always hits the spot.
Corn Chowder Recipe
Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine
The only major thing I change every time is that the original recipe calls for half a red bell pepper, but I detest all bell peppers, so I take it out and up the zucchini amount a bit. However, if you like red bell pepper, by all means, put it in (about a 1/2 of a regular sized pepper). Also, this time I didn’t have fresh thyme, but I usually do, so I’ll leave it as fresh thyme in the recipe. However, if you don’t have it, you can certainly use dried. Also, I opted to call the recipe “corn chowder” as opposed to Ms. Ray’s recipe title, “Harvest Creamy Corn Choup.”
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 4-5 large ears of corn, kernels scraped from the cobs, or 10 oz. frozen corn (I find the frozen organic sweet corn does the job quite nicely)
- 2 medium zucchini, finely chopped (somewhere between ¼-1/3 inch)
- 5-6 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 32 oz. container of chicken broth, or 4 cups of homemade if you have it
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce
- In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges.
- Add the onion and (and bell pepper if you’re using it) and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, zucchini, thyme, bay leaf and paprika and cook for 4 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pot, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Gradually stir in the broth and simmer until thickened a bit.
- Stir in the milk, cream and parsley and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
Season the chowder with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serve with saltines, or oyster crackers.