Corn Chowder

by Cate on May 4, 2004

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I nixed)
4 slices bacon, chopped (I used six)
1 onion, chopped
4 to 5 large ears corn, scraped from cob or 1 box frozen corn (I used a 24 oz bag, although she suggested 16 oz during the show)
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, chopped
1 pound small potatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream (I used light cream)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of generous handfuls
A few dashes hot sauce, to taste
Oyster crackers or white Cheddar popcorn, to pass at table (I topped with a little bit of grated cheese)

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add bacon to hot oil and cook until crisp at edges. Add onions and corn, zucchini and potatoes and bell pepper as you get them chopped. Also add to the soup pot the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, paprika, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 7 to 8 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Sprinkle flour into the pot, stir and cook 1 minute. Stir in the stock and let it come up to a bubble and thicken up a bit. Then stir in cream, parsley and hot sauce, to taste, and simmer 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with crackers or popcorn to float on top.

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