I found this recipe for corn chowder a couple years back when I was hosting a Halloween-themed soup buffet dinner party for a few friends. I had also prepared lentil soup and Cincinnati-style chili, but I wanted to have a third option for my guests. I've always liked corn chowder, and did a search on the Food Network website for a recipe. I found one from Ina Garten that I thought looked appetizing, and had had good results with her recipes in the past, so I decided to give it a go. I also have a bit of a soft-spot for Ina because she could be my mom's doppelganger. If you don't believe me, just do a Google image search.
This chowder was a huge success at the party, although Ina's original recipe made a truly preposterous amount of soup. I sent home leftovers with every single guest who would have them, and I still ended up throwing some of it away because I couldn't eat it all in time, and cream-based soups cannot be frozen. Nevertheless, this cheddar corn chowder went into my regular recipe rotation, albeit it in one-third of its original form. If you're looking for a hearty fall meal, I highly recommend this soup.
Cheddar Corn Chowder
adapted from Ina Garten
3-4 slices of thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/4 c. flour
scant 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
4 c. chicken stock
2/3 lb. red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb. frozen white corn
2/3 c. heavy cream or half-and-half
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add bacon, cooking until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and crumble when cool. Set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium, and add butter and onions to the pot, salting generously. Cook until onions are translucent, 7-10 minutes.
3. Stir in the flour, tumeric, and pepper to taste, cooking three minutes.
4. Add the stock to the pot, stirring well to incorporate the flour. Add potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
5. Add the corn to the soup, then the cream and cheddar cheese. Cook for 5 additional minutes until cheese is melted. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon.