I grew up in Massachusetts. Where the chowder comes from.
I like to make it with halibut and waxy Yukon Gold potatoes. I like to make it with clams. I like Deborah Madison’s recipe for Winter Vegetable Chowder. I like to make it with salmon, sweet potatoes, and broccoli based on a recipe I cut out of Real Simple one time.
Today I made it with corn, red potatoes, and poblano peppers.
- 2-3 slices of good quality bacon, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 small red potatoes, diced into small cubes, skins on
- Kernels from 2-3 ears corn (scrape off the kernels with a knife)
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 28 oz of chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream or half & half.
- bay leaf, thyme, sage, black pepper shaken into a coffee filter and tied off with kitchen twine (or dental floss, if you’re me) into a bouquet garni
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped, whites and part of the greens
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in its own fat in a heavy soup pot. Remove crispy bits.
- You should have a good tablespoon of bacon fat in the bottom of the pot. Cook the onion in this over low heat until translucent.
- Add the potatoes, corn, and poblano pepper and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Shake in a little salt.
- Add the chicken broth. Turn up heat and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- In the meantime, in a small saucepan, pour in the cream and toss in the bouquet garni. Break the stick of celery in half and add it, along with the chopped scallions.
- Holding the corn cobs over the saucepan, run the back of your knife down the cob and squeeze out the liquid. It’s tasty.
- Bring cream to a boil with these aromatics, then reduce heat and let everything sit and get friendly while the soup cooks.
- Take out the bouquet garni and celery before combining the cream with the rest of the soup. Let cook for 3-5 more minutes. Add the crispy bacon bits and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve with crusty bread.
- If poblano peppers are not your thing, some shredded swiss chard wilted in near the end of cooking (when you add the cream) will add some fresh green to the soup.
- Vegetarians can substitute olive oil for the bacon parts, obviously.
- Corn is still in season here, so I used fresh. In the dead of winter, I would substitute frozen corn.