The weather may be warming up, but I’m still a sucker for a good bowl of soup, even when the temperature rises. The key is bringing some of that fresh spring/summer flavor into the soup to brighten it up. This recipe does that perfectly, and the fact that you can throw it together in no time flat, and go from stove top to table in less than 20 minutes is pretty fantastic, regardless of the time of year.
I started by sizzling up some chopped, center-cut bacon in a large saucepan. Center cut bacon is, basically, regular bacon that’s had the fatty ends lopped off. By using center cut bacon (or by just lopping off the ends of your regular bacon) you can cut your fat intake down by 25%. You’ll never know the fatty ends are gone.
Once the bacon was sizzled up nicely, I removed some of it to use as garnish, and then added some onion, celery, chopped fresh thyme, and minced garlic to the pot.
I let that cook down for a bit, just a couple of minutes, and then I stirred four cups of frozen corn into the mix. The recipe actually calls for thawed frozen corn, but I forgot. It worked out just fine this way, I just let it sit on the stove top for a minute longer than originally planned and we were good to go.
Once the corn mixture was heated through, I added some chicken broth, brought the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about four minutes.
As the soup was simmering, I sprinkled some shrimp with a little Old Bay seasoning and quickly sauteed them up in a pan on the stovetop that I’d sprayed with nonstick spray.
The original recipe called for adding the shrimp directly to the soup at the end, and cooking them there. I knew that my girls wouldn’t eat the shrimp, sadly, so I cooked them up on the side to keep dinner a little more peaceful. This way, they couldn’t give me any of that, “But, there’s shrimp taste in my soup!” junk.
Once the soup had simmered, I removed two cups of it and pureed it in my blender.
The puree went back into the pan with the rest of the soup, and I finished it off with a little bit of half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
Served with some crusty bread for dipping, this made a delicious spring meal. The girls enjoyed their non-shrimp version, and Aaron and I really enjoyed ours all shrimped up, with a little extra Old Bay sprinkled on the top for good measure.
BACON-CORN CHOWDER WITH SHRIMP
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 6 center cut bacon slices, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups frozen corn kernals, thawed (or just cook them for an extra minute like I did)
- 2 cups fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
- ½ lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- ⅓ cup half-and-half
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- Heat a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon to the pan, and saute for 4 minutes or until the bacon crisps up. Remove one-third of the bacon and allow it to drain on paper towels to use as garnish.
- Add the onion, celery, thyme, and garlic to the pan. Saute 2 minutes.
- Add the corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Add a minute or two if using frozen corn.)
- Add the broth, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spray a large saute pan with nonstick spray and heat over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, just until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
- Place 2 cups of the corn mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender lid (to allow the steam to escape). Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid, to avoid splattering, and blend until smooth.
- Return the corn puree back to the original pan. Stir in the half and half, salt, and pepper.
- Crumble the reserved bacon over the top and add a few shrimp to each bowl before serving.