Bacon and Corn Chowder

5 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 large carrots, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1/2 cup diced Melissa's Fire Roasted Sweet red bell pepper
6 Melissa's Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
2-1/2 cups corn broth*
1-4 teaspoon dried thyme
3-4 ears corn, stripped of kernels, cobs reserved
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* Make corn stock by using your stripped-of-kernels corn cobs and 3 cups water. Add a rib of celery, a couple of scallions, and half of a carrot, and cook for 20 minutes to reduce to 2-1/2 cups. If you prefer not to do this (although I do encourage it and it is so easy), you may substitute chicken or vegetable stock.

Cook bacon in a large pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Into the pot vacated by the bacon place onion, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add potatoes, broth, and thyme and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Add corn, roasted red peppers, and cream and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in bacon.

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