I woke up this morning, and the sun wasn’t shining. It was cold and windy, and I finally accepted that summer was quickly coming to an end. It kind of, sort of makes me want to cry. I feel like summer was way too short this year. It wasn’t as hot as it normally gets here in the summer, with very few days above 90. This is strange for Colorado, if you didn’t know. We are a state of extremes. It get super hot in the summer and super snowy in the winter. Speaking of which, did I mention, that there is a chance of snow this Thursday night into Friday morning!? Yes! There is a chance that we will have snow before summer comes to an end. THIS really does make me want to cry…ugh…
So when I did wake up this morning to clouds, rain and wind, I was only thinking about this white bean, chicken and corn chowder. Oh, how I love chowder…all kinds of chowder: clam chowder, potato chowder, corn chowder, chicken chowder … you name it, I’ve probably had it.
Chowders are totally a fall thing around here. I gobble them up like there’s no tomorrow, and having chowder on the menu for dinner makes this rain, somehow, a little more desirable.
Chowders, like most soup recipes, are simple. This is why I adore them so much. I think what’s best about this recipe in particular is that it is totally better the next day, making it the perfect make ahead meal.
It’s loaded with chicken (which I slow-cooked in the crock pot all day), white beans, corn, and potatoes. I went the Yukon gold route for this chowder. I know that traditionally most people like to use russet potatoes, but I am not one of those people. I don’t like the extreme starchiness a russet adds to a chowder. I prefer a waxy potato. Feel free to go the russet potato route, if you have a freak obsession with them. :)
Before I go crawl under my blanket fort and try to stay warm, we have to talk about this beer pairing.
Beer: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Style: American Pale Lager
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
Description: This little gem of a lager I picked up when I was visiting my sister in upstate NY. I had never heard of Jack’s Abby, but when I asked around, everyone told me it was a winner of a brewery. Of course, I was super excited, as I tend to get when I discover new breweries. You don’t see pale lagers very often. You usually see the “ale” version, so when I saw this American Pale Lager at a little specialty store, I knew I had to try it. This beer is perfectly balanced, which is why I love it. It’s that combination of sweet and bitter that I crave as the temperatures start to lower. It has that hoppiness you crave with a pale lager, but it is smooth and perfectly carbonated. I loved it with this soup. I didn’t want to go overly bitter for this pairing. I needed some sweetness because the soup is soooo savory. It was the perfect match. I think I’ll do it again!
Happy middle of the week! Here’s the recipe!
- 3 cups frozen corn kernels, divided
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 14.5 ounces canned creamed corn
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups boneless and skinless chicken breast, cooked through and shredded
- 14.5 ounces canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 3/4 cups half and half
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
- micro greens, for garnish
- Add two cups of the frozen corn kernels to a blender. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium heat until warm. Add the chicken broth to the blender with the corn and blend until smooth and creamy. Be careful when blending as the mixture is hot. Cover the top of the blender with a dish towel as you blend. Set aside.
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add the butter. Melt it over medium heat and add the onion. Cook the onion until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour. Continue stirring and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the flour turns a golden color. Add the blended chicken broth and corn mixture to the pot and whisk as you add it. Continue whisking as you turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the creamed corn and continue to whisk. If you find that the soup is too thick, you may add water or additional chicken broth until you reach a consistency you desire.
- Add the bay leaves, celery salt, a dash of salt and pepper and the potatoes to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the chicken breast, beans, remaining 1 cup of frozen corn, and half and half and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves from the pot and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve the soup topped with bacon crumbles and micro greens. Enjoy!