Sweet Corn, Bacon and Tomato Chowder
This simple combination of sweet corn, bacon, potatoes and tomatoes makes a hearty chowder that's full of fresh summer flavors. Served with a salad, it makes a terrific, easy meal.
- 8 ears fresh, sweet corn, husked
- 1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 small potatoes (we used red bliss), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
Cut the kernels off the corn and set aside (see notes).
In a medium-sized soup pot, fry the bacon until crisp, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, add the butter and heat over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and pale golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes, cover and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the potatoes are barely tender, about 6 minutes, then add the corn and bacon to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 to 1-1/2 cups of the corn kernels, potato chunks and bacon to a bowl and set aside. Using a hand-held immersion blender (or conventional blender), purée the remaining soup until smooth. Return the reserved solids to the pan along with the tomatoes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tasting and adjusting the seasoning as needed.
Stir in the heavy cream, ladle into serving bowls and garnish with sliced scallions.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Slicing corn kernels from the cob:
We've seen a number of tips to prevent corn kernels from scattering about the kitchen as you slice them from the cob. Some people suggest balancing the corn in the center hole of a bundt pan so the kernels fall into the pan. Others suggest using a wide shallow bowl or a pie plate.
We've found the easiest method is to simply use a good-sized cutting board and a very sharp knife and hold the corn at a 45-degree angle to the board so the kernels don't have to fall very far. This minimizes "bouncing."
Be sure to scoop the kernels from each ear into a bowl as you work so they don't pile up and you won't need to break out extra dishes or struggle to cut inside a bowl.