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Creamy Corn and Tarragon Chowder with Bacon

Oh do I love chowder... in the summer months, soup is not necessarily what I crave but when the corn is in peek season, how can you resist? Corn, the star of this show, can be made 100's of different ways but when you go in with bacon, potatoes and cream that is just a win.


Start with your bacon. Sauteed crisp and then reserved for later trying not to snack too much while you wait. Then the aromatics, sauteed in some bacon drippings to get things going. Next add your seasoning, potatoes and fresh corn, shucked from the cob, reserving as much "milk" as possible, all in with some stock (homemade or store bought, no one will judge). Let everything cook and get tender. lastly, the roux, cream and back to the bacon... this is the home stretch so not too much more to go. Everything will begin to thicken rather quickly as soon as the gluten of the flour begin to activate with the heat. That's it. Ladle into bowls, garnish and serve with some fresh bread and maybe a little salad on the side. I perfect summer dinner for those nights you need an extra layer of warmth.

Creamy Corn and Tarragon Chowder with Bacon


Ingredients:


12oz smoked bacon, diced into ½ inch strips 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced 3 ribs of celery, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced fine 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste ½ tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste 5 large ears of corn, kernels removed 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, minced 1-pound small Yukon gold potatoes, cut into quarters 1-32 oz box chicken stock 1-quart heavy cream 4 tbsp butter ½ cup all-purpose flour Minced fresh Parsley leaves, chive or scallions, green and white parts included (optional) Chili flakes or Paprika to garnish (optional)


Directions:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Once achieved, remove cooked bacon pieces and rest on a toweled lined dish to drain. Remove most of the rendered bacon fat, leaving a few tablespoons in pot to cook vegetables.

In reserved bacon drippings, sauté onion and celery, stirring often until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add minced garlic and season with salt and pepper cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn kernels and tarragon and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add quartered potatoes, chicken broth and heavy cream and stir. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover and reducing heat to medium, cooking for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are just becoming tender.

In a separate small pot, over low heat, melt butter and add flour, stirring together until it forms a thick paste, still pale in color. Once potatoes are tender, add butter flour mixture, also known as roux, to the soup and return cooked bacon to the pot, stirring well. Cook for an additional 6 to 8 minutes or until creamy broth has thickened. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if preferred.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs of your choosing and chili flakes, optional. Serve soup hot, accompanied by some fresh toasted bread for sopping or a side salad.

~Serves six to eight.


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