Sunday, February 6, 2011

Potato Bacon Corn Chowder - in a Crock Pot

I made this today, based roughly on a recipe I saw online, but kind of took off and did my own thing according to what I thought would be tasty - including the addition of bacon. It came out delicious!

You can use my recipe as a starting point and do the same thing, or follow it exactly if you want what I had. This should make you a pretty big pot of soup, I still have half a crock pot left after my husband and I each had a pretty huge bowl. I'm going to say this makes 6-8 servings, but it could be more or less depending on how big you like your bowls of soup.

This is an all-day crock pot recipe.  It will take 6-8 hours to cook this way.  You might be able to do it quicker on the stove in a stock pot if you want to try it that way.

  • 4-5 red potatoes - peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 large onion - diced
  • 1 clove garlic - diced
  • Carrots - diced fine (Use as much as you'd like. I used three baby carrots, for very subtle flavor and a hint of color)
  • Celery - diced fine (Same as carrots - I used a half stalk)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup crispy bacon crumbles depending on how bacon-y you want it (plus extra for garnish if you desire)
  • 1 cup sweet corn (canned or frozen is fine - use more or less to suit your tastes)
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bullion
  • A splash or two of worcestershire sauce
  • Butter (To cook the onions and a Tbsp to put in the soup)
  • Parsley flakes
  • White pepper
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream to garnish (I used a jack/cheddar mix)

Cook your bacon crispy and crumble it up.
Cook your onions and garlic either in butter or bacon grease until they are soft and just a bit browned.
Pour the cans of broth into your crock pot and stir in the bullion, then add everything EXCEPT the evaporated milk and cheese/sour cream garnish. Just keep those in the fridge for now.
Give it all an eyeball. The liquid should just cover the potatoes. If it doesn't, add a bit of water. Stir well and turn the crock pot on.
Cook that on low for about 6 hours or high for about 4 hours.  Give it a stir and check the done-ness of the potatoes occasionally.

Okay, here's where we get all tricky. When the potatoes are cooked tender, you are going to remove some of them, mash them in a bowl and put them back in the soup.  This will give it the right consistency to be chowderlike.

How thick do you like your chowder?  If you like it VERY thick, you're gonna mash up a LOT o'them 'taters. I mashed about half of them, which got me a chowder of medium thickness that still had some delicious potato chunks in it. You could probably puree half of it in a blender with some heavy cream if you wanted a cream-like soup. After you mash and put the potatoes back in, stir in the can of evaporated milk and let it cook another hour or two.

Stir occasionally and taste it too, to see if it "needs" anything.  I ended up adding a bit more white pepper to my soup towards the end.

When it's ready, ladle it into a bowl and sprinkle some cheese and bacon on the top.  Add a dollop of sour cream and eat up!

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