Monday, September 2, 2013

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles

I know it's September, and football is happening (go UW!), and there are pumpkin recipes everywhere, and storefronts are filled with boots and scarves. I get it. But can't we still enjoy summer…just for a few more weeks!? Days??

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

I had all these summer recipes I wanted to make before the season swapped over to fall, and I took a pulse check on Facebook to figure out which of those summer bucket-list recipes I should make first. The big winner? Corn chowder! Unfortunately, I might only get to one or two more summer recipes before chicken wings and chili just get too tempting. But lucky for you, corn chowder is one of 'em! 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

This has totally been the summer of corn for me. You could even say I'm a child of the corn. Or maybe not… that's creepy. Let's just say I love corn.

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Most of the corn chowder recipes I've seen out there are filled with heavy milk, cream, and potatoes. That just sounds wintery to me. And guys… I just wanted something summery here. And obviously green chiles=summer. And obviously bacon=awesome. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Speaking of summer and awesome, this soup is awesome. And summery-like. It's a little tangy from the lime and chiles, salty and smoky from the bacon, and nice and sweet from the fresh corn. Rather than adding milk or cream, I just blended half the soup, that way it's thick, but not heavy. Top it off with a swirl of sour cream, some cheese, and cilantro? You'll be thinking it's early August. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Also, if your produce section is running low on last of the season corn, or you decide to whip this up in December, no worries! You can totally use frozen corn. Then you can have summer anytime. Yep, you're welcome. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles 
Serves 4-6

8 ears of corn, raw (or 8 cups of frozen corn, thawed)
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a pinch dried)
2 sprigs of fresh oregano (or a pinch dried)
4 cups chicken broth 
1 four oz can roasted green chiles (mild or hot, depending on your taste)
Juice from half a lime
Salt & pepper

sour cream
lime wedges
cheese (crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar or jack)

Cut kernels off corn cobs, and then run the back off the knife or a scrape a spoon along cobs to get the last of the liquidy goodness out of the cobs. Set aside.

Heat a stockpot or dutch oven over medium, and add bacon and onions. Cook until onions are translucent and starting to brown, and bacon is cooked through (it won't necessarily be crispy). Add the garlic, thyme, oregano (and olive oil, if necessary), and cook a few more minutes. Add corn and green chilies, and stir to combine. Add broth, and turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil. 

Add lime juice, and reduce heat to low. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. 

Remove from heat, and (carefully) run emersion blender through soup one or two times. You don't want to fully blend, but want about 1/2 blended, half still chunky. You could also scoop 2-3 cups of the soup into a blender, blend until smooth, and stir back in. Be careful blending hot soups, it could splatter. 

Server with sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, and cheese. 
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