Cheesy Corn Chowder

When both the recipe developer (Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez) and the cross-tester (Melissa Roberts) raved about this soup, it was clear we had a winner! This almost-vegetarian chowder is chock full of a variety of colorful diced vegetables. Of course, we love the smoky nuance the bacon gives it, but if you wanted to make this strictly vegetarian, just lose the bacon and use vegetable stock in place of the chicken broth. This is ski-house material to feed a hungry horde, or use a long weekend to have several smaller gatherings to pay back all your friends (once you’ve cleaned for one party, you might as well throw another one).


Yield Makes 12 to 16 servings Active Time 50 minutes Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

    • 6 bacon slices, finely chopped
    • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
    • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 3/4 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 3/4 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 4 cups water
    • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4 ears) or 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) frozen corn kernels (not thawed)
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (3 cups)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil or parsley
    • Finely chopped fresh chives or scallions (optional)
    • Paprika (optional)

Preparation

    1. Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
    2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper to pot and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
    3. Add Yukon gold and sweet potatoes, broth, and water, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Add corn and cream and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
    4. Remove pot from heat, then stir in cheese until melted. Season soup with salt and pepper and stir in bacon and basil. Garnish with fresh chives, scallions, or paprika (if desired).
Cooks' Notes:
•Although any type of sharp Cheddar can be used, the orange-colored Cheddar will give you the best color for this soup.
•Soup can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Reheat slowly over low heat, stirring, but be careful not to let it boil.

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Nutritional Info

  • Calories370
  • Carbohydrates23 g(8%)
  • Fat26 g(40%)
  • Protein12 g(23%)
  • Saturated Fat14 g(71%)
  • Sodium695 mg(29%)
  • Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
  • Fiber3 g(13%)
  • Monounsaturated Fat8 g
  • Cholesterol79 mg(26%)
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Source: epicurious.com