Farmers’ Market Corn Chowder. It’s not summer without it. Loaded with corn, thick with chunks of potato, celery, and carrots, flavored with smoked bacon, corn chowder is summer cooking at its best.
4–6 ears of corn
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
4 ounces bacon, cubed
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1 cup milk
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh oregano sprigs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Corn: Shuck the corn, remove the silk, and with a sharp knife, cut off the stem so the cob has a flat surface to stand vertically. Slice the corn kernels from the cob. Break each corn cob in half and reserve.
In a medium stockpot bring the corn cobs and chicken stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes, preferably 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot over medium heat; add the chopped bacon and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Then saute the onion, carrots, celery, and pepper until soft, about 8 minutes.
Remove the cobs from the broth and discard. You will need 3 cups of broth for the soup. Add water as necessary to measure 3 cups. Most often I need to add an additional 1 cup of water.
Add the broth and red pepper flakes to the veggies along with the chopped potato, reserved corn kernels, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; then reduce and simmer 10 minutes more, or until the potatoes are soft. Remove from the heat; stir in the milk and add the fresh thyme and oregano sprigs.