Fall Cheddar Corn Chowder
Everyone loves the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. This deliciously satisfying soup recipe from one of her books was recommended to me by a friend, who served it as an annual Halloween pre-trick-or-treating meal for her kids. Also perfect for a hearty lunch, along with a crusty loaf of Country Levain from San Anselmo-based M.H. Bread and Butter.
- 8 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 12 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
- 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn, you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and Cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.
Source: Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Copyright 1999