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.
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.