When I got into my car this morning to take my kids to school (yeah! They have been out ALL week!) it was 13 degrees. That was without the wind chill. Needless to say, it is cold here on the East coast. Very, very, cold. A perfect day for a steaming bowl of summer. And that is exactly what this Corn and Cheddar Chowder is. I used corn that I took off the cob over the summer when it was at its peak and froze it just for a day like today. I am going to make sure that next summer I do a lot more corn, because having the best of summer in January is a really nice treat.
This soup was well received at my house. Everyone loves corn and bacon. It was one of the few times that I put dinner in front over everyone and there were no objections. This soup is sweet and creamy and warm and cozy all at the same time. I had everything on hand, so it was really easy to put together. From start to finish, this soup can be on the table in about 45 minutes. I do like a little bit of freshness, so I added some chopped chives (because that it the herb that I had in my fridge) but parsley, basil, tarragon, all would be really good too.
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 Tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. (I add a little water to mine, I know it sounds weird, but it cooks out and makes the bacon super crispy.) Remove from the pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Add the butter, onions, and peppers to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the wine and let it cook out. Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add flour, salt, and pepper.
Cook for 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Add the corn. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in half-and-half.
And cheese. Cook for another 5 minutes. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives and reserved bacon.