Friday, January 31, 2014

Soup Therapy: Corn Chowder

January has been a bit of a germ fest around here. There are several people in my family with lingering colds; I can tell because they keep texting me requests to buy more tissues, Nyquil, and orange juice. 

Now, I have a very specific strategy for feeding sick people. When they are in the down-and-out phase, lying on the couch half-asleep, and staying home from work, I trust in the body's natural instincts to know what it needs. 

You want Cheetos and mozzarella sticks? Sure, I'll fix you a plate. 
The tiny-size tangerines and pink Starbursts? Not a problem. 
Three straight days of leftover lasagna? Yes.

I will cater to any crazy cravings during the active phase of a cold.

But once the worst is over, and my patient is on the mend, then I shift gears. 

It's time to serve some healthy food.

So that's where I'm at this week. I need to tempt those out-of-sorts taste buds with the most restorative dish known to man - a bowl of homemade soup.


^ My first batch of the week was corn chowder. Though rich and hearty, the flavors were sweet and delicate and a nice full bowl sat easy on the weakened tummy. 

Ingredients: 

8-10 rashers of bacon, diced
one onion, chopped
1T peanut oil 

4 potatoes, peeled and diced 
2 cans of creamed corn
2 C water
salt and pepper to taste

2 C half and half

In an inspired moment of plan-aheadedness, I bought enough for several batches because everything is easily kept on hand.


^ 1. Dice the bacon and plop it in a nice big pot with the peanut oil. Over medium high heat, stir occasionally till the bacon is crisp.

 And enjoy these last few looks at my ugly eighties tile counters because, mark my word, their days are seriously numbered.


^ 2. Peel and dice the potatoes. When the bacon is done, toss the potatoes into the pot. Cook and stir for ten minutes. 

I am well known for chopping and cutting my ingredients into irregularly shaped bits. Some people try to categorize my work as hasty, but I have a strong preference for what I call a rustic chop. Food tastes better when each bite has personality and texture.


^ 3. Add the water, corn and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for twenty minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Creamed corn is weird. I flinched when I poured it into my pot, and immediately wished I had bought plain old regular canned corn. But the end result was fine and I have no regrets.


^ 4. Add two cups half-and-half, stir and heat till just warmed through. 

I neglected to capture a photo of this step. Because Ranger. 


This corn chowder was nourishing and restorative. My reluctant diners ate seconds and immediately divvied up the leftovers for work lunches the next day. I highly recommend this recipe not only for its recuperative powers but also because it is plain old delicious.

P.S. Yes, I am still on my no-carb, no-sugar plan. Since potatoes are a no-go for me, I ate veggies for dinner, though I will admit to taste-testing a hearty sample of this soup.

Adapted from Grandma's Corn Chowder on allrecipes.com

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If you're in the need of some more healing remedies, I've got the cure:

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