Cheddar Corn Chowder
Fall has officially made her presence known here in the Midwest. The sky is dark and dreary today with a nip in the air that makes you reach for that cute new jacket you bought for a steal at the end of last season. Flip-flops lay abandoned by the front door, still clinging to the hope that they may have one more day in the sunshine. Alas, the boots will make their way into the rhythm. It’s time for long, soft cotton socks with separate compartments for each toe.
Fall brings the scents of apples, pears, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin(!), hay. The smell of fall is almost indescribable. The crisp air that is no longer green, but dry and promising of the cool weather it will bring. My window is open as I listen to the patter of the rain hit the roof, tomorrow may bring the dance of the leaves but I suspect it will be a few more days of this dreary cool rain before I see the sunshine again. No matter, Fall also brings the excuse to wear the Tortoise shell glasses without any inhibitions. And plaid!
No matter the season, The Husband and I slurp soup at least once a week. It has become our comfort food, not to mention something so easy to reheat for lunch or even dinner the next night. Soup almost always tastes better the next day, making it so comforting no matter how hot or cold it may be outside. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was making our Summer Corn Chowder but there’s no turning back now. The red in the leaves and the cool breeze leave me no choice but to forge ahead with our Fall/Winter version.
Cheddar Corn Chowder
Adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T butter
1/4 c flour
1/4 c dry white wine
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 t dried thyme
6 c chicken stock
3 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2″)
1/4 c heavy cream
4 c frozen corn
1/2 c shredded white cheddar
2 scallions, sliced
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat and saute bacon until crisp (I don’t particularly care for bacon, so I always over cook it hoping I’ll like it a little more). Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reduce heat to medium. Discard all but 2 T bacon grease. Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon drippings along with the butter for about 5 minutes, until tender.
Once the onions and garlic are tender, stir in the white wine and let reduce by half (about 3 minutes). Stir in flour, salt and pepper and cook about 1 minute for the flour to loose its taste and become a paste (ha!). Place potatoes in the pot and just cover the potatoes with chicken stock. Stir the pot so the flour paste becomes incorporated with the chicken stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook about 15 minutes until potatoes are just tender. Stir in the corn and heavy cream. Allow the corn and cream to heat through and thicken (about 10 minutes).
Serve garnished with white cheddar, bacon and scallions.