There is no doubt, we’re headed into autumn. The days are shorter and it’s certainly cooler. I can’t see too many leaves out my window here, but I have a feeling they’re getting ready to change colours.
For me, fall is the beginning of soup season. Here’s one that’s very good. Full of many of the vegetables that you’ll find at farmers’ markets this time of the year and it’s beautiful too!
Here goes. There’s lots of chopping, so make sure your knife is sharp.
Start with the bacon.
While the bacon is frying, get to work on the vegetables.
Carrots are diced.
Sad looking celery. Good for flavour, not for aesthetic purposes.
Red bell pepper.
You know the rest.
Bacon out and draining.
Check out the beautiful colours!
Into the pot to cook.
Potatoes. More than what’s called for in the recipe, because I’m leaving out the sweet potato. On purpose.
Add the stock,
and the thyme to the cooked vegetables.
Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Now add the corn. I used frozen. It worked.
Add the cream too.
Let that simmer for 10 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, more dicing!
And freshly harvested chives.
Add the bacon to the soup, along with salt and pepper.
Pour some into a bowl, garnish with the diced tomatoes and chives and dig in.
Original recipe from Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl.
Harvest Corn Chowder with Bacon
Serves 8 as a first course (makes about 11 cups)
Active time: 40 minutes. Start to Finish: 1 1/4 hours
Brimming with fresh corn, sweet potato, red bell pepper, and carrots, this vibrant chowder has flavor to spare. We adapted the colorful recipe from one served at Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine, a restaurant in Lodi, New York that overlooks Seneca Lake.
1/2 cup dice (1/4 inch) slab bacon (2 ounces; rind discarded if necessary)
2 cups diced (1/4 inch) sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 pound yellow-fleshed potatoes, such Yukon Gold (2 small), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium sweet potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
5 cups chicken stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 cups corn
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced; finely chopped fresh chives
Cook bacon in a 6- 8 quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper to bacon fat remaining in pot and cook, stirring until onion is softened, 8 – 10 minutes. Add both potatoes, stock and thyme, bring to a simmer, and simmer, covered, until potatoes, are just tender, about 15 minutes.
Add corn and cream and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir in bacon.
Serve sprinkled with tomatoes and chives.
Cook’s Note: The chowder can be made up to 3 days ahead. cook, uncovered, then refrigerate, covered.