Martina McBride’s Southern Corn Chowder

Southern Corn Chowder 
Serves 10 to 12

8 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 fresh, small poblano chilies, seeded and cut into 1⁄4 inch dice

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1⁄2 cups dry white wine or chicken stock

1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes

6 cups low- sodium chicken stock

3 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 12 ears if using fresh)

1 cup heavy cream

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

Corn chowder is such a satisfying soup. Creamy and savory, it hits the spot. I like this version’s Southwestern take.
1. Cook the bacon 6 to 8 minutes in a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Drain the fat, reserving 4 tablespoons.
2. Add the reserved bacon fat and onion to the Dutch oven and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, or until tender. Add the bell pepper, celery, and chilies and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Increase the heat to high and add the wine. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the corn.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the cream and flour, stirring with a whisk to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the Dutch oven and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the cilantro. Garnish with cilantro and reserved bacon pieces, crumbled.

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