I forgot last week when planning out my menu that it was a Barefoot Bloggers recipe week! Oops! So I decided I'd make it this week to have for lunches. It's still not soup weather here in AZ (really it's only soup weather for maybe a week or two out of the whole year), but it's cooler so I figured it would work. Plus I love a good soup! This recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, but it's also available on the Food Network website. Jill from My Next Life chose this recipe for us to try.
Cheddar Corn Chowder
Copyright, 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All rights reserved
8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
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
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot over 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 cob and blanch them 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.
I read the ingredient list and thought, "Wow, that makes A LOT of soup!" Then I realized it said 10-12 servings. I'm really the only person in my house that eats soup, so that was going to be way too much. I decided to cut it in half. I also figured there were a few things I could do to make it slightly healthier. I figured since the bacon would render a lot of fat, and the recipe called for butter I could easily cut down on the olive oil. I used maybe two teaspoons, but it was probably closer to just one. I also used fat free half and half. I wasn't about to skimp on the cheese because I heart cheese. :)
I sat down to have a nice bowl of this soup for my lunch once both kids were down for their naps. I was a bit leery of it because the picture in the cookbook didn't really look like a chowder to me, it looked more broth-y. Mine ended up looking like chowder, but I definitely had my reservations while it was cooking until it had that creamy chowder look to it. I'd read another Barefoot Bloggers review of this recipe, and she thought it was under-seasoned as it's written in the recipe and had added in Old Bay. I was ready to add some in if it needed it, but I really liked the flavor of it without adding anything additional. I had one bite that had the perfect amount of cheese flavor, a bacon piece, potato, and corn in it...it was fantastic!! The other bites were good but that one especially was great.
This was pretty easy to put together, and really tasty. I used frozen corn for mine and thought it was fine. Plus it's much easier to pour some frozen corn into the soup pot than having to cut the kernels off cobs.
I will definitely make this again at some point! Oh, and I put the recipe into the Recipe Calculator on the Weight Watchers website, and it came out to seven Points per serving, which I thought was pretty decent, considering chowders can be pretty decadent soups.