I must confess that food made with corn is usually a bit of a risk for me. While there’s not much I won’t eat, and not much I don’t enjoy, I have a particular tick when it comes to corn. I like corn on the cob, I like corn on its own if it’s crisp and fresh, but if it’s in a salad, or mixed with anything else, I get the heebeejeebees. Some people can’t stand walnuts in a brownie, I can’t stand corn when it’s added to anything else. Until recently. Over the course of the last few months, the natural foods market near my workplace hasn’t been stocking up on my usual, lunchtime favorite, Italian wedding soup. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and sample their chicken corn chowder. This recipe is my own version— spiced up, less caloric, and even, yes, I’m going to say it, more corny. And I think a Leffe Blonde Ale or a Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat would accompany this really well. —NakedBeet
large yellow onion
large jalapeno pepper
large orange pepper
large potato (10-11 oz.)
1 1/2 cups
fresh corn (or 1 11 oz can)
cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 teaspoons
sauce from chile in adobe pepper
chopped parsley, diced green onion, shredded pepper jack cheese (optional topppings)
In a soup pot, saute the bacon slices until they cook to the point of almost crisp. Take them out, leaving the bacon fat behind and cut the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
Cut the onions, jalapeno pepper, and the orange pepper into a dice and add them into the pot with the leftover bacon fat. On low heat saute the vegetables while you clean and prepare the potato into small cubes. Add the potato and saute with the vegetables for an additional minute. Add the cut up bacon, corn, chicken stock, chili powder, and the sauce from a can of chili in adobo peppers and cook uncovered on low heat until there is 5 more minutes left until the potatoes are cooked through.
Chop up the chicken breast into small chunks or shred, if that’s your preference, and add into the soup. Add the milk, cream, and salt. Cook on low for 10 minutes, but don’t let the cream come to a boil. (If you see that it has, no worries, it will still taste really good.) At this point, you can leave the soup chunky or using a hand held blender, puree all or part of the soup. I like to whiz part of the soup to get some texture and body, but I don’t puree all the way to leave most of the vegetables and chicken completely whole. You can also leave out the chicken until after you puree if you wanted the protein to remain whole in the soup.
Garnish with chopped green onions, parsley, and for some extra indulgence, some shredded pepper jack cheese. I like the kind with extra jalapeno specs in it.