What’s for Dinner?
Cheddar Corn Chowder
Perfect winter warmth … with bacon
-Julie Ryan Evans
A couple years ago we moved into a new home after spending at least a month in temporary housing where we ate out way too frequently. I was so happy to be in our new home and eager for some home-cooked food, but my kitchen was still in boxes. Just when it looked like we’d be eating pizza from a cardboard box again, my friend Courtney brought over a huge pot of this amazing soup.
Full of corn, cheese, potatoes and cream and topped with bacon, it was one of the most nourishing, satisfying soups I’d ever eaten. I’m not saying it’s healthy – at all – but for a nice, comforting meal on a cold night, or if you need a dish to take to a friend in need, this is one amazing chowder to try.
8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
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 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn, you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and Cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.