Why is it I crave chowder in the summer? I mean it’s 80 degrees, and I’m dreaming about potatoes cooked in a creamy broth, preferably with seafood.
What the heart wants, it wants, I guess.
A few weeks ago, my husband took the big kids camping and I had the babies solo, and a whole day to get ready for my best friend visiting. It might be some sort of existential test to ask yourself, ‘If you had a whole day alone with twins what would you most like to do?’ My answer was of course cooking. I made this chowder and a loaf of sourdough bread. It took me most of my free waking hours to do that BUT it filled me up and we munched on the bread all weekend with avocados, jam, and cheese. (I used this recipe for the second time and loved it).
This soup was so good and satisfying, and feeds a crowd. I even pureed it for the babies and they loved it! (After I googled if babies can eat shellfish, which they can! Why do I forget all these things?).
I know most seasoned home cooks keep their bacon drippings around forever, and can’t bare to waste it, but I honestly don’t – it feels like pressure when it’s sitting there. I usually just try to brown up bacon at the start of a recipe and then use it as a garnish. I love the way cooking onions and garlic in bacon drippings infuses a dish with a rich, smoky flavor.
I added peppers to the dish for color, and loved the flavor they added too. And you can use fresh or frozen corn for this recipe, whatever you have. And I used two cups of heavy cream in addition to homemade broth I had in my freezer (makes it so good but use whatever you have!). But you can sub milk if you want though it will loose a lot of creaminess if you do (maybe add a pat of butter in that case. Creamy soups forever).
Or you could just use more of this secret ingredient is right here: cream cheese. Adding cream cheese to creamy soups to add richness, tang and creaminess.
Trust me, you will want to add this to every creamy soup you make from now on. It adds that quality where you can’t stop eating it, something in it is just so good.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make another batch of this soup because after looking at these pictures I am totally CRAVING it now.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
Corn, Crab and Bacon Chowder (printer version here):
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 8 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 small orange, red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs of thyme OR 1 tsp dried thyme
- 5 tbsp flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 cups heavy cream depending on how rich you like it
- 4 cups corn kernels, scraped fresh from the cob, or 1 bag frozen kernels
- 1 lb. cooked lump crab meat, fresh is available in plastic tubs at many fish counters
- Chives, chopped for garnish
- Place 1 tsp butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a paper towel lined plate. Leave fat in pot.
- Lower heat to medium heat. Add 2 tbsp butter, once melted, add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add celery, potatoes, seasoning with salt & pepper, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add bell pepper, bay leaves and thyme
- Add flour and mix it in. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add broth and cream, stirring to combine.
- Put the lid on and simmer for 25 minutes (adjust heat so it’s simmering energetically but not bubbling like crazy or super gently).
- Whisk in 4 oz (half a brick) of cream cheese
- Add corn and lump crab, stirring to combine and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining bacon and chives.