Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Panera Who?

"Panera who?"

That's what my husband said in reply to his first taste of this soup. And I can't say that I disagree.

Divine. If I had to use one word to describe this soup, it would be divine. In fact, it's so divine, that I made only three -- that's right only three -- modifications to this recipe.

The first: I omitted the scallions. I'm not a huge fan, and since there's already an onion in this soup, I knew it wouldn't be hurting for onion flavor.

Two: I used grilled corn. We had grilled corn on the cob for dinner, and I used the leftovers to make this soup. It definitely adds something to it that you don't get from using straight fresh corn. There's a hint of smokiness that just adds depth to the flavor.

And three: I didn't serve it in a bread bowl. I know. Your heart probably stopped for a beat when you read that. But the truth is, I didn't want to fill up on bread and not be able to eat a second bowl of this scrumptious soup. So feel free to eat it out of a bread bowl. But if you're like me and like to go back for seconds and thirds where soup's concerned, you might want to pass on the bread.

So what are you waiting for? Fresh corn is at your fingertips. Go out and get some and make this soup!

Corn & Cheese Chowder

Recipe slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange), finely diced
  • 5 ears grilled corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup (heaping) Grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pepper Jack
  • Seasoned salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook until edges start to brown. Then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.
  2. Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer and thicken for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in cheeses. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

Tips: Corn freezes beautifully. So buy extra, grill it, cut it off the cob, and freeze it. That way you can enjoy this soup during the cold winter months.

This soup is easy to turn into a vegetarian dish. Simply omit the bacon and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

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