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Corn & Leek Chowder with Crispy Pancetta

Now that it’s officially fall, and soup season is finally among us, we can really start having some fun in the kitchen. Though it’s still a bit warm, it’s certainly not too early for some of those delightful bowls of warmth. I don’t know about you, but there are very few soups that I don’t fancy- especially when they’re homemade. Corn Chowder will always be a favorite of mine. The sweet corn, paired with a spot of cream, a bit of cheese, and whatever else you decide to stew with the two are not only perfectly filling, but are completely satisfying to the taste buds.

Servings: 8-10

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ears of Corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved
  • 5 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 large Parsnip, washed and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium Leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 Cups Organic Chicken Stock (As always- homemade is always better)
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Aged White Cheddar, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

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Instructions:

  1. In a large cast iron pot heat 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil.
  2. Once Olive Oil is hot add Onions, Garlic, and Leeks.
  3. Over a medium heat, sautee the ingredients until slightly browned and fragrant.
  4. Add Corn, not the cobs, and stir with remaining ingredients until the Corn releases some of it’s own cream.
  5. After a couple minutes of allowing the mentioned ingredients to cook together, add Potatoes and Parsnips. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour Chicken Stock, and Milk over the ingredients.
  7. Add Corn Cobs, spices, and seasoning.
  8. Bring pot to a slow simmer, and continue to stir for 40-50 minutes.
  9. While the soup is stewing prepare your garnish. In a small sautee pan render the pancetta until slightly crispy. Add the remaining Leeks and continue to sauté until both the Leeks and Pancetta are slightly browned and crispy. Once cooked set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain the fat from the Pancetta.
  10. Once the soup is ready to be blended together remove from the heat and prepare your heat resistant blender. Be sure to practice safety when blending hot ingredients. Use a tea towel to apply pressure to the top of the blender, start on a slow speed, and gradually increase to a faster one if need be.
  11. To blend slowly ladel the ingredients one scoop at a time. Be sure to blend thoroughly between each addition. I personally prefer my chowder on the chunkier side so I would typically only add 1/2-3/4 the amount of soup to be blended. If you would prefer to puree it completely- have at it.
  12. Once blended to the desired consistency add back to the pot and reheat. This is your chance to adjust the seasoning or consistency.
  13. There you have it! Dish it up and enjoy. Don’t forget that crispy, salty garnish you set aside earlier.

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