Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Potato Corn Chowder

Tuesday was a cold and dreary day. It was also a day when I was running out of ideas for dinner. Then, a friend on Facebook mentioned that she'd made potato soup and I though oh yes, that's the ticket!!

Some people make potato soup with a ham bone or other similar methods. While this does produce a yummy soup, it's not a spur of the moment thing and it's not all that easy. Me.... I want easy. And Momma gets what Momma wants. Even though it takes about 2 hours from start to finish, much of this is unattended cooking time.

You'll need:
1 package thin sliced bacon, cut into smallish pieced
2 smallish yellow onions, diced
18 (or so) small potatoes - I had some red and some russet - peeled if needed and diced small
1 16 oz package frozen corn - use either yellow or white as you choose. I had white corn.
fat free milk
heavy cream
instant mashed potatoes for thickening
sour cream

I like to use scissors to cut up bacon... it just makes it easier:

Place the bacon in a pan over very low heat - cook until almost crisp

Add in the diced onion, cook until it starts to brown:

Add in the diced potatoes and corn and mix together. I ended up using somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the package - adjust to your liking:

Add just enough water to ALMOST cover them - it was about 3 1/2 cups for me:

Next, add just enough FAT FREE milk to completely cover everything:

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and start to give off a lot of starch. You'll need to watch this - stir a few times because there's not enough liquid to really move stuff around and you don't want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. I let mine go too long in between stirring and it stuck, a lot, it actually started to burn. It's ok if you overcook the potatoes a little as this will just add more potato "mush" to the soup and help it become thicker easier. I had to quickly remove the chowder from the pan so the burning bottom wouldn't flavor the soup... So, pretend there's a picture here of what looks like VERY lumpy loaded mashed potatoes....

Next add enough cream to create the volume of soup you want. I used about 3/4 of a quart. Also add in the sour cream - at least 1 cup but don't be shy here, it's good stuff!! Mix well and reduce heat and leave on the burner until the chowder is hot but not boiling. This is when you add instant mashed potatoes if you want - this will really thicken the soup up in a hurry, so go easy until you've got it where you want it.

Finally, adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Had I thought about making this earlier in the day I'd have put my bread machine to work to make some yummy bread to go with this.

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