Corn and Fingerling Potato Chowder with Bacon

So many summer meals growing up were just corn from my dad’s farm. I imagine that isn’t all that uncommon for midwestern farm families (sorry, carb haters — just telling it like it is).

These days, corn is usually a side dish, but it is still a must-do on my summer table. I love this chowder recipe: a few fresh, seasonal ingredients that complement one another, and just filling enough without being heavy.

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Corn and Fingerling Potato Chowder with Applewood-Smoked Bacon

Adapted slightly from Cooking Light
Serves 5

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 1/2 cups fresh (uncooked) corn kernels (about 6-7 ears)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
8 ounces fingerling potatos, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more)
Thyme sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.

Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn, chopped thyme, and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, milk, half-and-half, and potatoes; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Transfer 2 cups potato mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth; return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in salt and black pepper. Season to taste, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

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