This is the perfect soup to make in the late summer months when corn is at its prime and you can find fresh ears for sale at roadside stands and farmers' markets. Chef Emeril Lagasse fashioned this version after traditional Southern-style corn soup, because it pairs corn with one of his very best friends, bacon. Oh, baby, talk about a match made in heaven! If you can't find fresh ears of corn, you could substitute frozen, but the taste won't be quite the same.
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4 ounces bacon, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
5 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled russet potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
How to Make It
Place an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers and corn to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pot and stir to combine. Use a whisk if necessary to break up any lumps. Add the potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Season the chowder with the salt and cayenne and stir in the cream. Serve with the bacon and parsley as garnish.
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