Corn Chowder

I've been making this soup for years and it always satisfies.  Don't skip the bacon as it imparts a lot of flavor.  And use good quality corn: I like Trader Joe's Organic frozen corn kernels.  For good quality chicken broth Cook's Illustrated recommends Swanson's Organic chicken broth.  This recipe double easily for your next informal dinner party or family gathering.

Corn Chowder
From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Serves 6

4 oz sliced bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 Tblsp butter
2 cups chopped onions
2 Tblsp flour (use Cup4Cup for a gluten-free version)
4 cups chicken broth (32 oz)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup half-and-half
4 cups corn kernels (I use frozen)
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1 Tblsp chopped cilantro

Wilt the bacon in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over low heat until fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.  Add the butter and let it melt.  Add the onions and cook until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.

Add the stock and the potatoes.  Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the potatoes are just tender, 12-15 minutes.  Add the half-and-half, corn, pepper and salt.  Cook 7 minutes more.  Add the bell pepper and green onions, adjust the seasonings and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.