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Spicy Corn Chowder

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

Bacon makes this creamy dish—with just the right amount of heat—the ultimate summer comfort food. Don’t substitute frozen corn here; the flavor of this quick chowder depends on freshly cut kernels.

  • 1/2 lb. thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon (6 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 5 cups fresh corn kernels (from 10 medium cobs)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure chipotle chile powder
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated white Cheddar, for garnish (optional)

Cook the bacon in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off and discard all but 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat.

Return the Dutch oven to medium-high heat and add the onion, half of the scallions, the celery, bell pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chipotle powder and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the half-and-half and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the grated potato, lower the heat to medium, and cook, covered, until the potato is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and transfer to 4 large soup bowls. Garnish with the reserved bacon and scallions, and the cheese, if using, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 500, Fat Calories (kcal): 180, Fat (g): 20, Saturated Fat (g): 10, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5, Cholesterol (mg): 60, Sodium (mg): 570, Carbohydrates (g): 69, Fiber (g): 8, Protein (g): 19

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great Chowder. Had Turkey broth in the freezer, used it instead of Chicken broth, Used Paprika, jalapeno and chili powder instead of Chipotle Powder. Will make again

Excellent late summer soup. After making it twice with the 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, decided it just overpowered the other flavors. A rounded 1/4 teaspoon was more pleasing to us. one could always add more to individual taste.

Love the consistency of this chowder. I added a jalapeño pepper and used paprika, cayenne, and chili powders instead of chipotle. Definitely spicy!

Quick and easy to make. Delish! Even better the day after.

I made this last night for my family's weekly 'soup night' and everyone agreed it was spectacular! There were six of us, so I upped the ingredients to 1-1/2 what was called for, which produced enough soup for at least another two servings. I skipped the cheese, and added the bacon into the soup when I added the potatoes, figuring that the extra smokiness couldn't hurt. Will definitely make it again!

I loved this soup. I "milked" the corn cobs and added the "milk" with the corn kernels. The chipotle chile powder really makes this soup stand apart from others.

Creamy and rich tasting (for a quick chowder). Garnishing with bacon/scallions and Chedder cheese adds great flavors and texture. And, of course, freshly cut corn kernels is key to great taste.

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