Potato Corn Chowder with Kale and Bacon

I mentioned that last week our weather took a turn towards fall. The cool temperature and constant drizzle quickly convinced me that soup was the only viable option for dinner. But what to make? I was craving something new rather than many of our favorite standby soup recipes.

The previous weekend we had taken a trip to the Boulder County Farmer’s Market on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Corn was “stuff a bag for $6.” We came home with loads and loads of summer corn and no real plans for it other than to enjoy it slathered with butter straight off the cob. But we happened to have just enough corn leftover for a batch of Corn Chowder.

corn chowder potato corn chowder with kale and bacon

After the realization that dinner would be something fantastic, I quickly turned to two of my favorite sources: How to Cook Everything and Soups, Stews & Chilis to see if I even had the rest of the ingredients.

I used these recipes for Corn Chowder more as a guide than anything else. Taking a little bit from each and adding a little bit of my own ideas, like the chopped kale. I kept things a little lighter by using whole milk rather than cream or half and half, though I’ll assure you this soup is still very rich tasting.

I liked the idea of roasting the corn for the chowder and detailed in How to Cook Everything. Roasting always brings out so much flavor in the ingredients.

corn chowder potato corn chowder with kale and bacon

I prepared a batch of Whole Wheat Dinner rolls from Sarabeth’s Bakery. I realized just after I had added the yeast to the warm water that I had used the very last of the butter in the soup and we didn’t have any extra hiding out in our garage freezer. For a moment I thought I was doomed (as Logan would say).

I called a few friends and no one was home. So I hopped into the car and made a dash for the neighborhood 7-11 where I bought some extremely overpriced butter, but nonetheless saved the day. The rolls and soup were a hit for dinner and perfect on that chilly drizzly day.

More Great Corn Recipes:

Soft Tacos With Chicken and Tomato-Corn Salsa | GoodLife Eats
Late Summer Grilled Corn Salsa | Bev Cooks
Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Tacos | Closet Cooking
Spicy Corn Fritters Recipe | Simply Recipes

Potato Corn Chowder with Kale and Bacon

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

5 ears sweet corn, shucked
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 - 2 cups chicken broth
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
dash cayenne pepper
dash nutmeg
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
cooked bacon, crumbled - for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub the shucked corn with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning frequently, for about 20-30 minutes - or until the kernels start to brown. Remove from the oven and cool until safe to handle.

When cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. (See this quick trick for cutting corn off the cob.)

Place the leftover cobs in a large pot with the 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Then, lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat, discard the cobs, and let the remaining liquid sit until you're ready to use your "corn broth" in the recipe.

In a deep pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute, until golden and tender, for about 3-5 minutes. Then, add the celery and garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture takes on a golden hue - just a couple minutes.

Whisk in the whole milk and the "corn broth" you saved from the previous step. Stir in the corn kernels and diced potatoes. Add as much of the chicken broth as you desire until your preferred chowder consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne and nutmeg.

Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer until the potatoes are tender. Just before serving stir in the kale. Garnish with crumbled bacon, or if desired, stir it straight into the soup.