I know what you’re thinking – it’s 100 degrees outside and this crazy girl in Miami is making soup? What can I say? I love a good corn chowder and a good chowder starts with good corn. Sure, frozen corn works in the winter, but fresh corn is best and the best corn of the season is just starting to show up.
Since I’ve been hitting the strawberries and Nutella pretty hard lately, I wanted to keep this light. I was not kidding about my pants being too snug lately. So instead of cream and flour, I thickened the soup with skim evaporated milk and potatoes. To keep it tasty, I added some crisp and crumbled pepper bacon and ribbons of fresh basil. It’s hearty enough to be called a chowder, but light enough for summer. A happy little summer soup.
5 slices pepper bacon, cut into strips (regular is fine too)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium red potatoes, diced
4 ears of corn, shucked
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup evaporated milk (skim is ok)
1 tbsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
Set a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until all of the fat is rendered and the bacon turns golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spatula or spoon. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
Add the onions and potatoes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the onions turn translucent, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the corn and stock and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Let simmer for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Using an immersion blender or food processor, pulse the soup a few times to thicken, but avoid making it too smooth.
Return to low heat and add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Ladle into bowls and top with the bacon and basil ribbons.
Makes 4 servings.