Thursday, December 11, 2008

Say Chowda!

It being finals time, I made myself a big pot of soup, as per my finals tradition. I do it so that I can have something better than lean cuisines to eat, but don’t have to go to the work of cooking every night. This recipe started out as a recipe for corn and poblano chowder from epicurious, but I substantially modified it. The result is something that is almost close to a loaded baked potato soup. It’s got a pretty solid kick to it, but I like it a lot. It will definitely serve me well through finals, and is good on any cold night when a hearty meal is needed.

Corn and Poblano Chowder

Makes 6 – 8 servings

5 strips bacon 
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped 
3 cloves garlic 
3 large poblano chilies, roasted and skinned, seeded, chopped 
3 redskin potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes 
2 14 3/4- to 15-ounce cans cream-style corn 
1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed 
2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth 
1 cup fat free half and half 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese 
2 lbs frozen, precooked salad shrimp, thawed

1. Put the onion, celery, garlic and poblanos into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely diced (don’t liquefy them), set aside. Cook the bacon until it is crispy. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

2. Pour 1 -2 tablespoons of the bacon grease into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the finely chopped vegetables and sauté until soft, about six minutes. Add the potatoes, and the next 5 ingredients (through cayeene) to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer until potatoes are soft and flavors are blended, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Reduce heat. Once the mixture has stopped bubbling add 2/3 of the cheese, 4 Tablespoons of the cilantro, and 4 of the five strips of bacon, crumbled (reserving the remainder of each for garnish). Continue cooking just until cheese is fully melted an mixed with the soup (1-2 minutes). Add the shrimp just before serving. Serve garnished with cheese, bacon, and cilantro, and with a nice crusty bread or oyster crackers on the side.


Jen said...

Loaded baked potato soup...Um, YUM!! Good luck with your finals, and Happy Holidays!

Sophie said...

What a hearty soup! Serve this to your professors and they would've easily dismissed the finals altogether ;)! I'd like to share your adapted recipe with our readers, please let me know if you're interested!

Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger