Smoky Corn Chowder

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
40 min

4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4 ounces smoky lean center cut bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 chile pepper, such as Fresno chile, seeded and chopped
  • 6 large ears corn, kernels scraped from cob, cobs reserved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, scant palmful
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 pound (1 large) starchy potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Hot sauce
  • Garnishes:
  • Reserved bacon bits
  • Scallions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Creme fraiche, crumbled queso fresco or shredded Cheddar or pepper Jack

Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Add the bacon and brown to crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve the bacon bits. To the bacon drippings, add the garlic, onions and chiles, and cook to soften, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn and season with the thyme, paprika and salt and pepper, and stir. Add the cobs to the pot along with the bay leaves, potato and cover with the stock. Add a little water to the stock if it does not cover the corn. Cook the soup, partially covered, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the cobs and bay leaves and puree with an immersion blender until the corn is creamed. Stir in the butter and lime juice and add hot sauce, to taste. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over a medium flame.

Serve the corn chowder topped with bacon, scallions, herbs and cheese.

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