Cheesy Corn and Potato Chowder with Bacon

Cheesy Corn Chowder with Bacon

This recipe came about by accident, but it was a happy accident.  I intended to make potato soup for dinner, but the bag of potatoes that I thought was mostly full was only about half way full.  I knew I needed to add something to the potatoes or we wouldn’t have enough soup.

Adding corn, cheese and bacon seemed like a good solution.  We loved the result!

I didn’t take an ingredient photo, but these are all very common ingredients.  The homemade soup is quick to make and perfect for a winter (or cool, spring) day.

Cheesy Corn and Potato Chowder with Bacon

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can cream corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
Instructions
  1. Cook potatoes in chicken broth in a large pot till potatoes are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt the butter.
  3. Stir flour into butter and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk milk into the skillet till smooth.
  5. Continue heating over medium heat till sauce begins to bubble and thicken.
  6. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheese.
  7. Once potatoes are tender, add frozen and creamed corn to the soup pot.
  8. Stir in the cheese sauce.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Heat over medium heat till soup is hot, being careful not to let it boil.
  11. Serve in bowls, topped with crumbled bacon.

 

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Making do with what you’ve got – Humble Chicken Soup

Humble Chicken Soup

Twenty seven years ago, Jim and I were newlyweds.  We were also broke.  We lived in a suburb of Philadelphia in an apartment that cost 40% of our income.  Our place was on the top floor of a building that had been abandoned so long, the people in the neighborhood didn’t think anyone lived there at all.

We were both students – Jim was working on his MBA and I was finishing my bachelor’s degree.  Our budget for groceries was only $25 a week.  That didn’t go far.  If I had known how to cook, I probably could have stretched things a bit further, but I was still learning.

A few weeks after Thanksgiving that year, we were moving into finals week and our money had run out.  The cupboard was bare.  But Jim’s parents came to visit and they brought a bag of potatoes and a 3 lb. Country Crock container filled with frozen, leftover turkey.  There may have been other things (probably corn, chicken broth and carrots), but that’s what I remember most.  The bag of potatoes seemed so large that I wasn’t sure how we’d ever use it all.

It turned out that we lived on those ingredients for about two weeks.  I would  chip off some of the turkey from that brown, plastic tub and add it to boiling broth along with potatoes, carrots, onion and a can of corn.  A small pone of cornbread baked in our smallest iron skillet went along with the soup on most nights.

Lunch.  Dinner.  Dinner.  Lunch.  We ate that soup for just about every meal because we didn’t have any money to buy different ingredients.  We got a little tired of it, but at the same time, it was hot and good and nourishing.  It’s one of our fondest early marriage memories.

Recently, I made the soup for our dinner.  I told the kids the story.  And when Jim got home from work I asked if he recognized the recipe.  It took him a few minutes, but he remembered.

There’s not much of a recipe to share here.  Add peeled potatoes, carrots and onion to a pot of broth.  Boil it until the potatoes are tender.  Add leftover turkey or chicken and a can of corn. Season with salt and pepper.

Share a bowl with people you love.  And count your blessings.

Do you have a meal that reminds you of a lean time, that turned out to be full of goodness?

 

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9 Mouth Watering Chili Recipes

chili

There is nothing like a bowl of Chili to warm a person up on a cold day. It’s just the right amount of hearty and just the right amount of spice to be so satisfying! The great thing about Chili is there are lots of different ways you can add flare to ordinary meat and beans that really kick it up to a new level. Whether you are craving the classic diner chili or something that tastes like fall in a bowl, there’s always something to please. One of my favorite chilis is a nice bowl of White Chicken Chili. But I’m always up for pumpkin black bean chili and corn bread. I love using chili to add to another meal too.  Some of my favorites are chili hot dogs and chili topped mac and cheese.

Now that it feels like every day it gets a little bit cooler, I’m looking forward to making some of my favorite chili recipes again. And that inspired me to pull them all together in one place so that you can try them out too!

  1. White Chicken Chili
  2. Pineapple Chili
  3. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
  4. Cheater Chili
  5. Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili
  6. Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
  7. Velma’s Chili
  8. Mel’s Diner Chili
  9. Chili Topped Mac and Cheese

Since cornbread is the perfect companion to chili, I’ve got a round up of cornbread recipes coming next week!

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Rustic Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup – for the slow cooker or stove top

Rustic Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup - easy and hearty

 

March came in like a lion.  For the second time this winter, we had double digit snowfall.  Since we haven’t had that much snow in 17 years, it was pretty surprising to see it twice in one season.

Needless to say, we are ready for spring to show up!

But first, there’s March.  Where we begin to crave green things and vegetables and sunshine.

This soup is definitely a winter soup, but it’s perfect for March.  It’s full of veggies.  It’s hot and hearty and perfect for refueling after an hour or two of shoveling snow.

I seasoned the soup with McCormick Bay Leaves and Thyme.  The soup comes together quickly, but the flavor is full and round and tastes like you’ve spent all day.

Part of the reason it’s easy to put together is that I chose to leave the peels on the potatoes.  That gives the soup a rustic quality and makes the prep work easier too.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Quick White Chicken Chili

Quick White Chicken Chili

 

The other night I really wanted to have White Chicken Chili for dinner.  The problem was that my recipe for White Chicken Chili is a slow cooker recipe.

And it was already 5:30 when I decided we really needed hearty, hot bowls of this soup.

Thankfully, it’s possible to turn a slow cooker recipe into a stove-top recipe with a few quick changes.

In this case, I used rotisserie chicken I had in the freezer.  I also used canned beans, instead of dry, making adjustments in the amount of liquid the recipe called for.

This recipe was on the table in under 30 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup from scratch

 

I’ve been wanting to make Black Bean Soup forever.  I knew I wanted to make it in the slow cooker too.

So I went on a recipe search and found this Cuban Black Bean Soup from the Kitchn.  The recipe was a great excuse to use the ham bone I’d frozen from Christmas.

My recipe search also yielded Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Soup.  Hers doesn’t use a ham bone.  And it has no vinegar, like the other recipe does.  But she did add some cumin and chili powder.

And neither recipe was for the slow cooker.  Black beans cooked on top of the stove become creamy and smooth.  In the slow cooker, this texture has to be forced a bit by pureeing some of the soup in a blender.

I ended up combining the two recipes I found, with my own thoughts on making it work for the slow cooker.  The result was wonderful.  It was even better the next day.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Cheesy Smoked Sausage Chowder

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Chowder

 

If you like a hearty, hot soup for dinner in the winter, this one’s for you.

It’s thick and cheesy.  Full of smoked sausage, potatoes, carrots, celery and onions.

I adapted the recipe from Cheesy Hamburger Soup.  I used smoked sausage instead of hamburger.  And shredded cheddar instead of Velveeta.

Serve this soup with crusty bread and a big, green salad.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Chicken Minestrone Soup

Chicken Minestrone in the Slow Cooker

 

This soup is made for January.  It’s loaded with vegetables, chicken and beans.  It’s made from scratch.  And it cooks entirely in the slow cooker.  No pre-cooking meat required.

In fact, it fits in great with our Slow Cooker Soup Series from last year.

For a simple, complete meal add in cornbread or biscuits.  Or try these Rosemary Goat Cheese Muffins.

Here’s what you’ll need for the soup.   [Read more…]

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Easy Chicken and Tortellini Soup with Kale

Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

 

Cheese tortellini, chicken, kale, tomatoes, garlic, onion – this soup is full of good stuff!

And it couldn’t be easier to make.  Especially if you’ve got cooked chicken in the freezer ready to go.

I almost always have chicken frozen, that I’ve either cooked myself or used Costco rotisserie chicken.  It’s such a time saver to have the meat ready to use.  A quick minute or two in the microwave is all it takes to thaw it enough so it can be added to a soup or casserole.

Next week, I’ll have another post on using meat from a Costco rotisserie chicken (or your leftover turkey).  There are so many ways to use chicken and turkey like this.

But for today, let’s talk about this soup.  Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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15 Minute Creamy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

15 Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

 

I do a lot of recipe creation.  Sometimes the recipes don’t turn out well and I never share them with you.  But sometimes, I come up with a winner.

This chicken noodle soup is a winner!

First of all, it takes just 15 minutes to fix.

It’s also homemade.  Okay, I’m using that term a little loose.  The broth isn’t homemade.  And my mom asked if the noodles were homemade (she’s hard to impress!).

But there’s no cream soups or mixes in here.  And that’s what I mean by homemade.

And if you’re smart enough to make your own broth and freeze it and use chicken you’ve cooked and frozen, then it really can be homemade.  (I’m not even going to talk about making the noodles though.)

I used boxed chicken broth and frozen rotisserie chicken for mine.  Everyone loved it!  It’s creamy, nourishing and hearty.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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