I’m in a recipe rut.
Well, that’s not entirely true, or at least it’s open to interpretation. It’s not that I haven’t been trying new recipes. I’ve experimented with one or two each week from the multitude I’ve pinned on Pinterest. It’s just that none of them have made me very excited.
But then there was this.
Creamy yet spicy, smokey yet sweet, this chowder is bursting with contrasts yet at the same time comfortably familiar. It’s a relatively quick meal to whip up after a busy day of holiday prep, and its warm, soothing flavors will help ease some of the stress of the season.
Although the ideal corn to use for this chowder would be fresh kernels picked at the peak of the season, sadly the dog days of summer are behind us. However, I’ve actually found a frozen variety that’s nearly just as good, at Aldi of all places. I don’t normally endorse particular brands on this blog, but this is the sweetest and most tender frozen corn I’ve ever tasted and perfect in this dish.
Smoky Corn Chowder
Adapted from Real Simple
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 10-oz. packages frozen corn (or 1 ¼ bags of Aldi’s 16 oz. frozen corn)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cooked bacon and sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5–7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and chipotle and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, broth, milk, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot and stir until combined.
Divide the soup among bowls and top with the scallions and bacon, if using. Serve with a salad and bread, if desired.