Cookery Maven Blog

The Best Corn Chowder

What's not to love about corn, potatoes, cheese and bacon? Not much, in my book. There is even less wrong when the recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Corn chowder is my favorite harbinger of the shorter days and colder temperatures of autumn. I make a huge batch every fall and freeze it to eat over the winter— there is something about corn and potatoes that makes me so happy. It's always a good idea to have a couple of soups or chowders in your repertoire so if you need a quick and dirty dinner idea, you are in business. This chowder can be easily doubled or tripled and freezes brilliantly.

Corn Chowder With Cheddar Cheese(Adapted From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten)

8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock, preferably home-made or low sodium
6 cups medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 1/2  cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain and reserve. Place the corn cob and half and half in a sauté pan and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step).

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. ) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.