Well Dressed Eats – Cheddar Corn Chowder

It’s now fully winter over here and we are going from 40 degree days, to freezing rain, 9 degrees, snow, sun and all the other weather you can possibly encounter here in NY this time of year. Nothing a bowl of something warm and comforting can’t fix though! I’m a stick to your ribs kind of gal, especially in the winter, so if you are that way as well, or just looking for a slightly healthier option of an old classic, this Cheddar Corn Chowder recipe is for you! Gotta hand it to my gal, Gina of Skinnytaste for killing it, yet again! I made a few slight modifications to suit my tastes, but I have no doubt her version is perfect just as she wrote it!

This chowder is super rich, but jam packed with veggies so it’s definitely a good for you soup and with the addition of tumeric it takes it to the next level. Tumeric, for those that do not know or use regularly, it’s basically the kale of the spice world. It’s an anti-inflammatory, does wonders for your digestive track and is even known to have a positive impact of your skin! It’s an all around A+ when it comes to health benefits. If you aren’t sure about throwing it into this recipe, don’t worry, you can totally leave it out, but I suggest adding a bit just to try. It helps add to the color of this soup as well as the flavor. You won’t be disappointed! Add some crusty bread or croutons and you have a full meal that’ll leave you full, satisfied and warmed through!

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips center-cut bacon, cooked and chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose (or gluten free) flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (I suggest starting with less if you are not used to using or are unsure of the flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced – about 12 oz
  • 1 (12-ounce) wedge cauliflower, stem intact
  • 1 pound frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 4 oz shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Place bacon in a large heavy pot and sauté over medium heat, until cooked and crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. You can totally omit the bacon if you’d like, but I think the crunchy topping really adds something to this dish!
  • With the pot still over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, add turmeric, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the broth, potatoes and cauliflower and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pot (this releases the caramelized bits on the bottom). Bring the pot to a boil then decrease to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes.
  • Heat 4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) of the corn with a tiny bit of water in a small microwave safe-dish until just defrosted, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the lid from pot and transfer the cauliflower, 1 cup of the soup and warmed corn to a blender and blend until smooth. If you have an immersion blender this can also be used, but you’d lose the bits of potato! Transfer puree back to the pot.  Add the remainder of the frozen corn, the milk and cheese. Mix then simmer for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and soup is heated through. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. Serve topped with reserved bacon pieces or croutons if you want this to be vegetarian!

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