My grandmother made a corn chowder soup while I was growing up, and I always loved it. When I got older, I used her recipe but I couldn’t help tinkering. Instead of canned, what about fresh summer corn right off the cob? And maybe I could boil the cobs in chicken broth, making the corn flavor bolder, more vivid. And what if I added herbs and red bell pepper cut up small? Well, that’s what I did. I now crave this soup, especially when I start seeing corn waiting to be shucked at Farmers Market stalls.
I don’t thicken the soup as is generally done, because I do like that creamy, brothy taste from my youth. Also, a lighter soup works better if you’re going to float crispy bread on top. But feel free to mash up some of the potatoes or work a little flour in to thicken it up, if you prefer.
Topping the soup with a fried piece of Country Loaf is my latest addition to Grandma’s recipe, but it turned out fabulous. The slice soaks up all the flavors and turns a simple dish into a satisfying meal.
Corn Chowder Recipe
- 6-8 slices of bacon
- A stalk of celery, minced
- One large onion, diced
- One red bell pepper, diced
- 4-6 ears of corn, fresh
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 6 cups of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter (Or a dash of cream)
- A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- About three cups of cubed potatoes
- A half slice of Country Loaf sourdough per person
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Fry the bacon in your soup pot and set aside. Discard the bacon fat, reserving about a tablespoon, and saute the celery and onions until limp. Add the bell pepper chunks and saute for a few minutes more.
Add the milk, the chicken broth, the potatoes, the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on a slow simmer until the vegetables are done. Add the corn and cook for five minutes more. Add the butter right before serving.
Meanwhile, heat up a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat and a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Fry the bread on both sides until brown and crispy.
Serve the soup in individual bowls with a half-slice of fried bread on top.
Author: Michelle Hubbard is a graduate of Brigham Young University with an English degree and an editing minor. She won Leading Edge’s “Best First Chapter” award and later joined the publication as a slush reader and editor. After attending the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference in Sandy, Utah, she became a volunteer and this June was her ninth year as an assistant. She was also a writing officer for Misha Collin’s charity Random Acts, for a period of time. A draft of her middle-grade novel, Oscar and the Ghosts of Paris, placed second with the Utah Arts Council. She lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah, with her husband, sister, two children, and far too many pets.