I was asked for the recipe for the chowder I made last night – it’s very, very simple, and makes a lot of chowder, which can be frozen. I didn’t take pictures as I went along, so I can’t post this in true “food blog” style, but you can use your imagination!
- 2 boxes of Swanson low sodium Chicken Stock (about 6 cups)
- 2 cups dry sherry
- 1 lb thick cut bacon, cut into small strips
- 2 large onions, roughly diced
- 3 – 4 large unpeeled baking potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut into 1″-2″ cubes
- 1 large head of celery, cleaned and sliced (leaves and heart included
- 3 cups of frozen corn (no sauce or butter, please!)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of dried turmeric
- 3 tablespoons dried celery seed
- 4 whole bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 cups whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
In a heavy stock pot (I use a cast iron ceramic soup pot that I got on eBay – but any heavy-bottomed pot will do), saute the bacon over medium heat until all the fat renders. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Spoon out about half the bacon fat and discard. Add the olive oil and the onions to the hot pot and saute, being sure to scrape up all the yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the onions are fragrant and just soft, but not completely translucent. They should still have texture and a little “crunch.”
Slowly add the chicken broth and sherry, stirring as you go. Add the bacon, potatoes, corn, and celery, and all the spices except salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to very low and cover. The soup will simmer at a low temperature as long as you keep it covered – and this will keep the veggies from getting mushy while the potatoes cook.
When the potatoes are fork tender (about 45 minutes), add the cream. (If you’re watching calories, you can use milk instead, but it changes the flavor and texture of the soup considerably. And besides, there’s bacon and bacon fat in this recipe already – so go ahead and use the good stuff!) Bring it to just below a boil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into big bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese (optional). Serve with a fresh salad and crusty bread for dipping.