8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, and then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.
I found this recipe on the food network; it’s from the Barefoot Contessa. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made it and it always turns out fabulous. It’s one of my favorite go to meals for winter time. The nice thing is, it also works brilliantly as a cold/room temperature soup for the summer time too. It’s really amazing with fresh corn, though lately I’ve been making it with frozen corn and it turns out great as well. The leftovers are always good and it freezes well. It does make a whole bunch of soup … enough to feed 10-12 people for dinner, so unless you’re feeding a small army, be prepared for leftovers.
I’ve tweaked it here and there, over the years, when I’ve run out of ingredients or forgotten to get them at the grocery store. Here are my tweaks ... they have all turned out just as tasty.
- You can do this vegetarian and not include the bacon … it works out just as tasty. (Though my husband preferred it with the bacon but he prefers anything with bacon – he’s a bacon lover).
- Turkey bacon as a garnish.
- Turkey bacon mixed into the soup.
- Milk instead of half-and-half.
- Cream instead of half-and-half.
- And no cheese.