Well, we survived it. Icemageddon 2013. Five adults, one toddler, four days iced inside the house. And you know what? I loved it. Every. Single. Second. Maybe it was the sleeping in, the no makeup days, the extended baking sessions, or getting to spend so much time with friends. Maybe, just maybe, it was the bourbon. No judging. Judgement free zone here, okay?
As if all those reasons aren’t enough to love my ice-induced staycation, I’m adding one more–this awesome corn chowder. It’s hearty and warming and everything a great winter soup needs to be. It was simple to put together and made for great leftovers–another serious plus for snow day fare. If you’re so inclined, you could omit the bacon for a vegetarian version, but let me tell you, the bacon really makes it. It adds salt and crunch and a whole lot of yumminess.
I will forever associate this chowder with Icemageddon 2013. But that won’t stop me from making it over and over again. Awesome meal. Awesome memories.
Corn Chowder with Poblano and Bacon
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
2 TBSP olive oil
6 c. chopped yellow onion (about 4 large onions)
3 TBSP butter
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 TBSP ground cumin
12 c. chicken or vegetable broth
6 c. unpeeled potatoes, cut into 3/4-in. cubes
3 lbs. corn kernels
1-2 roasted poblano pepper, seeds optional
1 c. half-and-half
1 c. grated monterey jack, pepper jack, and/or cheddar cheese, for serving
3-4 green onions, chopped, for serving
1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and butter. Cook 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
3. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook 3 minutes. Add in broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
4. Add the corn, poblano, and half-and-half to the soup and cook 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings.
5. To serve, ladle chowder into bowl. Top with cheese, bacon, and green onions and serve immediately.
Yield: 10-12 servings