We have had a spectacular summer. Basically from mid-May through to the early part of August we have had mostly clear and wonderfully warm days. Yes there have been a few days of rain, and a few days of scorching heat, But really, so much better than last year’s two days of sun.
This morning as I stepped out of the shower, I looked through the bathroom window and noticed the first leaves of fall. Bright vibrant orangey red leaves on what has been a beautifully leafy green tree. It’s about to turn, and with that I am excited: the fantastically vibrant colours, warm autumnal winds, cozy sweaters and tea on the balcony wrapped in a blanket. At the same time morn the splendor that is a wonderful West coast summer.
Thursday rained. And rained. And rained. And then the sun came out. The air was fresh but chilled. It was decidedly a soup night. Warm delicious crusty bread with a chipotle chicken chowder. Cornmeal back bacon, roasted chicken, red, chipotle and jalapeno peppers and roast corn come together to warm you through. I really enjoyed this and will be making variations on it with whatever is in the fridge I am sure over the colder months to come. For now, let’s hope for the sun again and ice cream worthy evenings!
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, peeled
2 corns on the cob, BBQ’d and then kernels removed
1 bakers potato, diced finely
1/2 lb smoked cornmeal back bacon, cubed
6 oz chicken, shredded
4 L chicken stock
1 cup cream
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp water
salt to taste
- In a large dutch oven pot, sautee bacon on medium heat until fully cooked. The bacon I used was more like ham, so this was really just to remove some of the fat to add more flavour to the chowder.
- Remove bacon, and reserve the fat. Depending on how much fat is left in the pan, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add onions and sautee until translucent.
- Add to the pot: roasted red pepper finely chopped, jalapeno, garlic and corn. Allow to cook through and soften – about 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.
- When potatoes are soft, with an immersion blender, or by carefully transferring the soup into a blender puree. (I pureed it about 85% – i like it a little chunkier)
- Add chicken and bacon to the pot and allow to simmer.
- Taste, add chipotle peppers, start with one and test. We used two, but everyone’s heat levels are different.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry with the flour and water.
- Add cream to the pot, bring to a slow simmer, stirring gently.
- Add flour slurry -allow to cook out and thicken for at least 1 or 2 minutes. The slurry will thicken soup -, it isn’t needed for anything other than the aesthetics of thickening – if you don’t mind it runny – leave it out.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste – enjoy!