Farm-Fresh Corn Chowder

If you can find super-sweet corn that is not genetically modified (non-GMO), this soup is absolutely fabulous. Of course it will still be tasty with genetically modified corn, it just won’t be very good for you anymore!

The cream is optional, and with or without it, the rich corn flavor makes this soup fabulous. The bacon is also optional – and while it does add a wonderful depth of flavor, the butter or olive oil modifications are perfectly tasty.

6 ears super-sweet ears of corn
7 c cold water
2 to 3 ounces smoked bacon (4-6 strips), or 2 T butter or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 t coarse sea salt – not iodized grocery store salt!
pinch of ground white pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 c heavy cream (optional)

To strip the kernels off the cobs, hold one end of the cob and rest the other on the counter or in a bowl. Using a very sharp knife, cut the kernels close to the cob and let them fall into the bowl.

Place the cobs in a large pot with the cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove the cobs with tongs and you have corn broth!

Cook the bacon in a 4- to 5-quart stockpot and set on paper towels to drain. Cook the onion in the bacon fat (or butter or olive oil) about 5 minutes over medium heat.

Stir in the chopped pepper, lower the heat, and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cubed potatoes and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the 7 cups of reserved corn broth, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well, ring to a gentle simmer, and cook about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the corn kernels and cook for no more than a minute or two. Add the cream (optional) and taste for seasoning. Garnish with the crisp bacon bits (optional).

Makes about 2.5 quarters, serves 6

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