It’s August in Dallas-Fort Worth, which means the temperature is soaring above 100 degrees most days. With that level of heat, soup is usually furthest from my mind when I am thinking about what to cook for dinner. However, corn is a summertime vegetable, so this WeightWatchers recipe for corn chowder sounded surprisingly appetizing. An added plus: John loves corn chowder. This fact, though, also meant that I would have a tough critic on my hands. I just hoped this recipe would be up to snuff!
Instead of using a store-bought vegetable mix, I made up my own with some celery, onion, and red bell pepper that I already had on hand. My one mistake (which led to another mistake, unfortunately) was that I forgot to thaw the frozen corn ahead of time. While this did not make too much of a difference for the corn that was sautéed in the Dutch oven, it did have a major impact on the corn that was to be blended with the milk. I did not think twice about putting the frozen corn kernels into the blender and then adding the milk. As a result, the milk essentially froze and I quickly had a solid mass in my blender. I felt incredibly daft at that moment! I ended up having to dump out the contents of the blender and start again. This time, I first thawed the frozen corn in the microwave by itself, and then I added the milk to the room temperature kernels. Unsurprisingly, it all worked much better that way.
While not as rich as many a corn chowder, the recipe still turned out great. Both John and I gave it 3.5 stars and would like to have it again in the future. John, however, would like me to omit the celery next time, as he’s not a celery fan.
Corn and Bacon Chowder
2 bacon slices
½ cup refrigerated prechopped celery, onion, and bell pepper mix
2 (16-oz) packages frozen baby gold and white corn, thawed and divided
2 cups 1% milk, divided
3 oz reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about ¾ cup)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble and set aside. Add celery mix and 1 package corn to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Place 1 package corn and 1 cup milk in a blender and process until smooth. Add puréed mixture to vegetables in pan; stir in 1 cup milk, cheese, salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Cook over medium heat (do not boil), stirring constantly, until cheese melts. Ladle chowder into bowls. Top with reserved crumbled bacon. Sprinkle with additional black pepper, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup). Per serving, 6 PointsPlus.