Monday, August 20, 2012

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Fresh corn is one of summer's greatest gifts.  I make corn chowder all winter but never thought to make a lightened up version for summer until I came across a version on Pinterest a while back.  All I can say, I've been missing out.

I couldn't resist adding bacon as it pairs so well corn and shrimp.  And seriously, anything sauteed in bacon fat is going to be good.  This soup is a symphony of textures with the crisp corn, crunchy bacon, and tender shrimp.  A perfect soup for summer!

Corn Chowder with Shrimp
adapted from Bev Cooks

Serves 4

4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ears of corn, kernals removed from the cob
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
salt and pepper
fresh basil for garnish, optional

Cook bacon over medium-high heat in Dutch oven or heavy pot until crisp.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

Remove about half of the bacon fat.  Do not discard in case you need to add more.  Add shrimp and cook on each side for about a minute.  Remove from pot and set aside.

Add butter to pan.  Add onions and cook until they are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Lastly, add corn, adding more bacon fat if needed, and stir.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Add flour, stir, and cook for about a minute.

Add chicken stock and scrape bottom of pot to pick up any bits of flavor.  Add half-and-half or cream.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.  Return shrimp to pot and cook for a couple of minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Finally, add bacon.  Serve and garnish with basil, if using.  

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