Saturday, August 23, 2008


I've been saving this recipe that was printed in our local paper some time ago. Since I have salt pork left from making clam chowder, I thought this would be a good way to use some of it, although the recipe calls for bacon. This soup turned out great -- Guy and I love soup, and this didn't disappoint. Instead of heavy cream, I used fat-free half and half, so it wasn't as rich, but we enjoyed it any way, because the flavors are good. I also didn't thicken the broth with flour as the recipe calls for, because we don't like flour-thickened soups. You can certainly use heavy cream if you want, and you can thicken the broth with flour if that appeals to you. Oh, and I used roasted red pepper for the red bell pepper, because that's what I had. I reduced the original recipe to make it more size-appropriate for just the two of us. So you will get 2-3 servings out of this recipe, depending on how large your servings are. We're not very big eaters here, because we're small people.

Southern Corn Chowder
Rating: 8 out of 10
1 oz. salt pork or bacon, chopped (remove rind from salt pork before rendering & chopping)
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 Tbsp. finely chopped carrots
3 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
1-1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. chopped red bell peppers or roasted red bells
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels + cream (scrape the corn cob dry with back of knife)
1 Tbsp. flour (optional -- I didn't use it)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup peeled, cubed potatoes
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fat-free or regular half and half or heavy cream
1/8 tsp. or less cayenne or ground red pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley + additional parsley for garnish

In a 2-3 quart heavy pot, render the salt pork (or bacon) over medium heat till meat pieces are crisp. Remove meat pieces from pot to a paper towel; reserve. If there is not enough fat rendered, add some extra-virgin olive oil to the pot, then add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring as needed, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add broth, peppers, corn, potatoes, salt and pepper; up heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup about 20-30 minutes, till vegetables are tender and flavors have married. Adjust seasonings, adding ground hot pepper and more salt and pepper if needed. Off heat; stir in half and half or cream, the reserved salt pork or bacon and the parsley.
Serve with additional parsley as garnish, if desired. Yield: 2-3 servings

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