Though corn chowder soup is usually made with bacon, I like to add smoked salt and smoked Gouda to this slow-cooker soup recipe instead. If the potatoes are organic (and I hope they are; you don’t want to know what kind of heinous fumigants are used on conventionally farmed potatoes), leave the skins on them for extra flavor and a more rustic feel. MAKES 4 to 6 SERVINGS OF SLOW COOKER CORN CHOWDER SOUP.
• 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 pound small potatoes, sliced
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme
• 6 cups water
• 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
• 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and diced OR 1 (4-ounce) can diced roasted chiles
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 1 cup grated smoked cheddar or Gouda cheese, divided
• Salt (preferably smoked)
• Chopped chives, for garnish
1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat and sauté onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Transfer onion to a 7-quart slow cooker and add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme and water. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Mash some of the potatoes against inside of the cooker or use a handheld immersion blender to puree a small amount of the potatoes and thicken soup slightly.
4. Add corn, chiles, half-and-half and 3/4 cup of the cheddar. Add salt to taste and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes, or just until all ingredients are hot.
5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with remaining cheddar and chopped chives.
Lynn Alley is a writer who lives in Southern California. This recipe is excerpted from her new book, 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011).
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