Bacon and Shrimp Corn Chowder

This corn chowder is easy to make and super delicious with fresh summer corn!  There is a bit of prep time, so make sure to consider that.  I based this off a recipe from Cooking Light and it’s really delicious and surprisingly, not too hot for an August night.  The corn is sweet and fresh and I think cilantro brightens up everything!

a small chunk of pancetta, or a few slices of bacon

3 shallots, finely chopped (1 onion would work as well)

1 celery stalk finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or grated

1/2 poblano pepper finely chopped

1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika (season to taste)

salt

pepper

1 -16oz of reduced sodium chicken broth

1/3c water

5-6 ears of fresh corn kernels or 4  cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

1/3 cup half-and-half

cilantro and flat leaf parsley to taste

Directions:

Heat a large Dutch oven or saute pan with high sides over medium-high heat.

Add pancetta or bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until it begins to brown.

Remove pieces and drain on paper towels.

Add shallots, celery, garlic, and poblano pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.

Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. (I used my immersion blender and it worked just fine. I did blend it in a separate bowl and poured it back in, but next time, I’ll do it right in the soup pot.

Return pureed corn mixture to pan.

Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Stir in half-and-half and adjust seasons to taste.

Crumble reserved bacon over soup and sprinkle with cilantro and parsley.

My notes:

I like shrimp, but I don’t think it added anything special to this recipe.  You could also make this vegetarian by omitting the pancetta or bacon and using vegetable stock instead.  The real flavor comes from the corn and the poblano pepper.  Adapt as you like, adding whatever veggies you want.  Enjoy!

a small chunk of pancetta, or a few slices of bacon
3 shallots, finely chopped (1 onion would work as well)
1 celery stalk finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 poblano pepper finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika (season to taste)
salt
pepper
1 -16oz of reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3c water
5-6 ears of fresh corn kernels or 4  cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/3 cup half-and-half
cilantro and flat leaf parsley to taste

Directions:

Heat a large Dutch oven or saute pan with high sides over medium-high heat.
Add pancetta or bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until it begins to brown.
Remove pieces and drain on paper towels.
Add shallots, celery, garlic and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes.
Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.
Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. (I used my immersion blender and it worked just fine. I did blend it in a separate bowl and poured it back in, but next time, I’ll do it right in the soup pot.
Return pureed corn mixture to pan.
Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.
Stir in half-and-half and adjust seasons to taste.
Crumble reserved bacon over soup and sprinkle with cilantro and parsley.

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