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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Corn Chowder with Bacon

For day 26 of Soup Month 2014 we made a rich and creamy Corn Chowder with Bacon.  Filled with bits of onion, celery, bacon and of course, lots of juicy sweet corn, this chowder is comfort food at its best.

One soup I really wanted to make before we finished soup month was a new version of corn chowder, and this was a perfect way to enjoy the last of this summer's corn crop.  The sweet corn we used was so juicy, I knew this would be a great bowl of soup and it made a great addition to our end of the season cookout.

To make the base of the soup we started with a really old cooking method of simmering the corn cobs.  Once the corn was cut off of the cobs, the cobs were simmered in a combination of milk and half and half, allowing all of the sweet corn milk to season the broth.  Once the broth has simmered, it is added to a mixture of sauteed onion, celery and cooked bacon.  To add a bright flavor contrast to the soup we added fresh tarragon and the soup was ready to serve.  Enjoy!!

6 ears  Sweet Corn, kernels cut off the cobs and cobs cut in half
1-1/4 cups  Milk
2 cups  Half and Half
3 TB  Salted Butter, divided
6 oz  Smoked Bacon, diced
2  Celery Ribs, finely diced
1/2 cup  Minced White Onion
1 TB  Fresh Tarragon, chopped
2 TB  Flour
Salt and Ground White Pepper to Taste

In a large saucepan, cover the cobs with the milk and half and half and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Discard the corn cobs.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add half of the corn kernels to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Combine the corn and the milk mixture in a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree the broth until smooth.

Using the same pan you used to cook the corn, add the bacon and cook over medium heat until just browned, then drain off the grease.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, then add the remaining corn, the diced celery and onion, and tarragon, and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat.

Add the milk and corn puree to the pan, stirring until the flour has combined and the chowder is slightly thickened, and season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve.  Makes about 6 servings.

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