Creamy, Dreamy Corn and Chicken Chowder

Corn-Chowder

Corn Chowder

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

5 strips thick cut bacon; sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon chipotle seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you like some heat)
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
6-8 ears corn
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken; I use rotisserie chicken from the local market
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
green onions; sliced for garnish

Directions:

1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp; remove bacon with a slotted spoon and allow to drain and reserve for garnish.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, jalapeno and thyme to the bacon drippings and cook until the vegetables are soft; about 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour, chipotle seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and stir to coat well.

3. Cook vegetables, flour and seasonings for 2 minutes; stir frequently.

4. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a rapid boil. Allow soup to boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down. This process will help thicken the soup.

5. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add in the cooked chicken. Simmer until the corn is soft and chicken is heated through; about 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Stir in the parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the reserved bacon and green onions.

Notes:

– If you are not a fan of heat, eliminate the jalapeno. Personally I would not omit the crushed red pepper or the chipotle seasoning. It adds a smokiness and depth of flavor that is truly magical in this soup.
– If you like heat, definitely toss some more spices in and even leave a few jalapeno seeds hanging around.
– This soup is perfectly delicious without the addition of the chicken, but is definitely more of a meal with it.

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