My wonderful new office space organizes a weekly CSA delivery, and I am reaping the benefits. Although I haven't signed up for a share since we're moving to a new office in a couple of weeks, I have been helping myself to the free leftovers. For the past two weeks, the leftovers have been corn, a Midwesterner's best friend. Growing up in Illinois, I went to a corn festival every year, not by choice. The forced attendance pretty much ruined corn for me, but my love for corn has been recently reignited. In fact, I'm eating a corn salad while I'm typing up this post.
While looking around on Tastespotting, I came across a delicious-looking picture for a summer corn chowder. For a chowder with bacon, this soup is surprisingly light. A vegetarian version would have been tasty, but the smokiness from the bacon really sold me.
Corn Chowder with Bacon and Basil
Adapted from Bitchin' Camero
5 slices pepper bacon, cut into strips (regular is fine too)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium red potatoes, diced
4 ears of corn, shucked
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup slim milk
1 tablespoon. salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
1. Set a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until all of the fat is rendered and the bacon turns golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spatula or spoon. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
2. Add the onions and potatoes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the onions turn translucent, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the corn and stock and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Let simmer for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Using an immersion blender or food processor, pulse the soup a few times to thicken, but avoid making it too smooth.
4. Return to low heat and add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
5. Ladle into bowls and top with the bacon and basil ribbons.