Now that autumn is really here in Colorado, I’m back in the kitchen craving comfort food like soul-soothing bacon corn chowder. This rich soup is one of my favorite recipes, especially during this time of year when some of the markets still carry fresh sweet corn.
The soup starts with bacon, which is cooked until crispy; chopped onion is then sauteed in the bacon drippings until tender and golden brown. After simmering the corn and onion in chicken stock enlivened with a splash of beer, half of the mixture is pureed and returned to the pot. Grated Monterey Jack cheese and cream are stirred in, and the soup is gently heated and topped with crispy bacon. You will love this combination!
This recipe is from my cookbook Bacon Beans and Beer (Gibbs Smith, Publisher), with 65 comfort food recipes that are perfect for tailgating and autumn gatherings. The book is illustrated with beautiful photos like the one above by Susan Barnson Hayward.
- 6 strips bacon – either regular or thick sliced bacon will work perfectly.
- A large onion – I like sweet Vidalia onions, but any type will do.
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels, or thawed frozen corn or drained canned corn. Fresh will taste best, but the other options are tasty, too.
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth – I like to make homemade chicken stock and store it in the freezer. Canned broth works fine, too.
- 1 12 ounce can or bottle light-bodied regular or nonalcoholic beer
- Monterey Jack cheese – shredding it from the block will give you the smoothest soup.
- 1 cup heavy cream – You can substitute half and half if you prefer
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Dash hot pepper sauce – For a little hint of spicy flavor. Feel free to omit this if you like.
You don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment to make this recipe:
- Large soup pot
- Cooking spoon
- Food processor
Can You Freeze Corn Chowder?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze this tasty soup. Cool it completely and refrigerate for 2 hours first. Then transfer to a freezer-proof container or a zip-top freezer bag.
Seal tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. Freeze the cooked, crumbled bacon in a separate baggie.
Thaw the frozen soup and bacon in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the soup in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to bubble around the edges.
Refresh the bacon bits by spreading them on a baking sheet and cooking for 5 minutes in a 325 degree F oven. Garnish the soup with the bacon bits and serve.
Here’s the easy recipe:
- 6 strips bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (or thawed frozen corn or drained canned corn)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 cup light-bodied regular or nonalcoholic beer
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Dash hot pepper sauce
- In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve. Add the onion to the drippings and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, beer, salt, and pepper and heat until almost boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Ladle half of the soup into a food processor or blender and puree. Return blended mixture to the pot over low heat. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring after each addition until completely melted. Slowly pour in the cream. Heat for a few more minutes, add the pepper sauce, and taste to adjust seasoning.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle bacon over top, to serve. Makes 6 servings.
Leftover chowder may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 943mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 18g
If you like the corn and bacon combination, you might also enjoy Fried Sweet Corn with Bacon.
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