Monday, December 5, 2011

Potato Corn Chowder

I wish it were cold outside. I wish for frost in the morning and snow in the afternoon. Before you think I'm totally nuts, you have to remember that I grew up in upstate NY, not far from Buffalo which = lake effect snow all winter long. I've almost never had a birthday that wasn't dreary and blustery. Winter lasts from November to April May. Parking lots are made for snow piles, not cars. I'm accustomed to the cold. But now I live in the "south" or close to it. And it just hasn't been that cold here. Windy, yes (especially on my daily walk over the Potomac), but not cold. It's still fall. Case in point: today it is forecasted to be 64 degrees. To me, that's nearly summer.

My point to this fascinating weather update is that I wish I could eat this chowder on a cold and blustery day. It seems more appropriate in the winter rather than on a cheery sunny day. But since the weather isn't cooperating with my preferences (and in all honesty, I really am enjoying the warmer temperatures and I'm very much looking forward to a spring that starts in March. And that means the rhubarb will be ready earlier) we'll have to make do with what we've got.
Two steps. That's all there is to this. You don't even have to peel the potatoes. After a few short hours, you'll have a savory-smelling kitchen and dinner ready to go. But here's one caveat about my recipe: it doesn't have any bacon, bacon grease, or lard, which, I've been told on good authority from a chowder-eating fiend, is a must when it comes to chowder. The first time I experimented with this recipe, I did include bacon. And it was very tasty. But I didn't have any this time around, and let's face it, good bacon can be expensive! So I left it out. And it was still delicious (don't tell my bacon-loving husband, but it might have even been better without it)-- creamy, a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, in short, the perfect comfort food. If you too love bacon, add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease + 4-5 pieces of crumbled cooked bacon to the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker.

Potato Corn Chowder
Recipe by Kelly
Pictures by Kelly

6 medium potatoes, peel on, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
8 cups (about 2 bags) frozen corn
1 medium onion, finely choped
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half and half
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
  1.  Combine all ingredients except half and half in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. 
  2. Add half and half. Blend about 2/3 of the soup using an immersion blender (or scoop it into a regular blender- I prefer my chowder a bit smoother, but you can blend according to your preference). Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve topped with cilantro, if desired.


Josh said...

I love soup and it has been very cold here so I know what I am making for dinner!!!

Lindsey said...

Josh didn't write the last comment. I did. I hate when I think I am logged in and leave a comment on something and it says from Josh. Ugh!

Kristi said...

I made soup tonight - not as good as this but it was decent. Today was freezing here. 16 degrees when I left my house to walk to work. brrr

Carmel said...

Dropping in from MMB. Looks delicious and I am trying this tonight. We'll see what the husband thinks. Great thing to have cooking all day and ready for us before we run off to the ward Christmas party.

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