This post was originally published here on September 3, 2014. I’ve since updated the texts and photographs to better showcase how delicious this Summer to Fall “transition” soup really is!
My appetite for corn on the cob is insatiable.
See also: crazed, unrelenting.
I seriously can’t get enough. And I have no shame about it. I’m currently inhaling 2-3 ears a day (typewriter style, of course). Usually while standing over the sink. It doesn’t matter how it’s prepared. Just GIVE IT ALL TO ME. Raw, grilled, cold from the refrigerator, naked, slathered with butter, etc. It’s all good.
Mid-September corn is truly the BEST corn of the entire season. And I’m not stopping until every last ear has been consumed.
BUT. There are some days that require a little bit more culinary refinement. When messily eating corn on the cob while hovering over the sink just won’t due. So on those days, I cook up a big pot of this Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble.
This is one of my favorite “transition” recipes. One part Summer and one part Fall, it easily scratches itches in both seasons (September is the ultimate “elbow season”). So whether you’re feeling reluctant to put away your flip flops, or you’re already knee deep in flannel, you can appreciate this recipe.
The star of the show here is, of course, the corn. But let’s not forget about all the other delicious ingredients. Cubed potatoes give this chowder some heft. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are bringing the heat. And a couple handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese and a pour of half and half make it feel a bit luxurious.
Oh and the topping. It’s glorious. I take store bought cornbread (a shortcut that I’m happy to embrace!), cut it into cubes, toast it and then toss it with cooked bacon. Some of the cornbread cubes break down into little salty, crumbly bits. Which results in a mix of textures that will make your mouth very happy. Trust.
Since we’re here. Tell me what soups, stews and/or chowders you want to see on the blog this Fall and Winter. They are some of my favorite recipes to create. And I would love your input!
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 cups peeled and chopped onions
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups cubed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 5 cups corn kernels
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup half and half
- 4 cups cubed cornbread
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a large, heavy bottom stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions to the stockpot. Cook the onions in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, potatoes and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Bring the chowder up to a low boil and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are just about fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes more. Then turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and half and half. Cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cornbread cubes with the olive oil and spread them out onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in your pre-heated oven until slightly dried and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the reserved cooked bacon.
- To serve, ladle the hot chowder into bowls. Top with some of the bacon and corn bread crumble. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Enjoy immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.