Thursday, December 22, 2011
Potato Corn Soup
I started to call this recipe a “chowder” but then read that the official definition of a “chowder” is that it contains fish or shellfish. Apparently the definition has grown to encompass more than just that description, but for now, I’ll leave this title as “soup”. Whatever you call it, it hit the spot on this cold first day of winter.
Winter started off rather loudly here in Denver with nearly a foot of snow. We didn’t venture far from home today, although for most Coloradans, a snow storm like this is not a reason to hunker down indoors. The road we can see from our back windows had plenty of vehicles on it and not just snow plows. Still feeling my east coast roots, I think a foot of snow gives me reason enough to hibernate for the day. I started this soup intending it just for lunch but by the time I had finished cooking, it seemed ok for dinner too.
I didn’t use a recipe, although I did look online for some ideas. Most recipes used milk in which the potatoes cooked and many added cream to the soup near the end of the cooking time. I think I lightened this up a bit by cooking the potatoes in chicken broth and a small bit of water; I happened to have some half & half in the refrigerator so I used that to add some creaminess to the final product. The key to this soup was the bacon-- it’s hard to go wrong with bacon. Although I didn’t go overboard with milk or cream, I certainly would not recommend taking this soup so far on the healthy side that you omit the bacon. It added a nice texture and a salty bite that the potatoes needed.
Here is what I did, feel free to add or take out ingredients to suite your taste. This is really a soup that you make with whatever might be in your refrigerator and pantry on a snowy day, no grocery store trip required.
A few strips of bacon
1 small onion
1 can of chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 can of corn (drained)
A splash of half and half (or milk or cream), perhaps 1/3 of a cup at most
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the bacon in small pieces and cook until crispy. Err on the side of well done but not burnt. Flimsy and squishy bacon has no place in this soup!
2. Drain nearly all of the fat and let the bacon rest on some paper towels while you work on the rest of the ingredients.
3. Chop the onion and add it to the pot. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding the diced potato.
4. Brown the potatoes slightly then add the can of chicken broth. I also added approximately a cup of water which helped to barely cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower the heat so the potatoes simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
5. At this point I wanted to thicken the soup so I used a hand blender to puree about half of the soup. I hoped to leave some of the diced potatoes in tact so that you could recognize them in your bowl later.
6. Pour the drained can of corn into the soup. Let the corn warm for at least 5 minutes.
7. The final touch for me was to add a small bit of half and half. I liked the creamy touch it added.
To serve, crumble a bit of bacon on top. Enjoy!