I love chowder of any kind, but New England Corn Chowder is especially delicious. I like the different textures: creamy soup, soft potatoes, crisp-tender onion, celery, and green pepper, the slightly starchy corn, and of course the crispy bacon. This is a soup with flavors made in heaven.
This recipe cuts the cooking and prep time to a minimum, so you have time after work to get soup on the table in 30-45 minutes. It’s a good idea to have plenty of Basic Cream Soup Mix (recipe at the bottom of this article) in your refrigerator, especially when the nights are cool, since you know you will be craving hot creamy soup. Chopping and freezing vegetables ahead of time and storing them in recipe-size portions saves chopping time, or you can use dehydrated vegetables from your food storage. I try to have a variety of frozen vegetables in my freezer at all times so that I don’t have to make a trip to the grocery store on busy work nights.
Make sure you have plenty of oyster crackers or saltines to serve with this soup. I also like to have hot homemade bread, cheating of course by using my automatic bread baker set to finish when I am ready to serve my soup, or if I have forgotten to put in the ingredients in and turn it on before I rush out the door in the morning, it’s perfectly acceptable to serve refrigerator biscuits or those frozen biscuits (which, incidentally, are very good) which can bake while the vegetables in the soup are simmering.
½ pound bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped (or 1/4 cup dried)
2 stalks celery, chopped (or 3 tablespoons dried)
½ green pepper, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups water
2 cups Basic Cream Soup Mix
1 16 ounce package frozen corn, (or use canned or even fresh)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven until very crisp; remove it and drain on towels; set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and return it to the stove. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the onion, celery, and green pepper to the bacon fat, and sautè until tender. If you’re using dehydrated vegetables, mix them in a bowl, add a cup of water, then stir them. In just a minute or two they will have absorbed the water and can be sautéed as if using fresh veggies. When the veggies are tender, add the water, bring it to a boil, and add the potatoes; cook on high, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the cream soup mix, then stir in the corn and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the soup is hot and the corn is tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. To serve, ladle into soup bowls, then sprinkle with the crisp bacon.
Basic Cream Soup Mix.