Wow, it has been a while since I blogged. Spring and summer are always so busy for me. Between both of my children's birthdays, baby and wedding showers, and weddings, it is crazy. I also often find that my meals are not too interesting during the summer. I love to have my husband throw a few different types of meat on the grill while I make my grandmother's potato salad and a few other sides. And before you know it, you have a really easy, really delicious meal. Simple but great. That is what summer is about to me. My goal this summer is to try a lot of different recipes and incoroporate various fresh vegetables and fruits into our meals. Summer is the best time for it since produce is at it's peak. I love checking out new farmer's markets in the area. The flavor of store-bought produce just doesn't compare to that of homegrown fruits and vegetables. So, if that interests you, check me out.
Well, enough about that. Let's talk about my favorite soup in the entire world! That is really saying something considering I really love soup. My other favorites include French Onion Soup, Cheese Soup, Broccoli Cheddar...I could go on and on. But this version of Cheesy Corn and Chicken Chowder I created hits the spot everytime. I started with Ina Garten's basic recipe for Cheddar Corn Choweder and added a few new ingredients which led to a very delicious, spicy, filling soup. My husband loves it. And even though I make a full pot, which makes enough soup to feed an army, we seem to finish the whole pot in only a few days!
Cheesy Corn and Chicken Chowder
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 6 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes and green chiles and their juices
1/4 cup olive oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil)
6 cups chopped yellow onions (about 4 regular sized onions)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon of Lawry's seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups chicken stock or broth
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
10 cups of corn kernals (10 ears if using fresh corn or 3 pounds of frozen-I use frozen)
1 jalepeno pepper, diced into small pieces
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound of shredded cheese (use what you like: cheddar, white cheddar, or my favorite colby-jack!)
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions, olive oil, and butter for 10 minutes, until the onions are transulcent.
Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
If using fresh corn, cut the kernals off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. (Blanching means to cook them in boiling water for a short time. You will put the corn kernals in the boiling water for just 3 minutes, then remove the corn or drain the water right away. You don't want to cook them any longer.) If you use frozen corn, which I do, skip the blanching step and simply pour your still-frozen corn into the soup.
Add your cans of Rotel tomatoes and green chiles. As I mentioned earlier, for a big pot of soup like this, one can will add extra flavor but if you really want a nice kick to your soup, add two cans, juice and all. Then, dice your jalepenos into small pieces. For those that don't know, the real heat of the jalepeno pepper is in the seeds and the white "rib" area in side the pepper. If you don't want spice, simply remove the seeds and rib with your knife. If you want more spice, dice the jalepeno and add the entire thing, which is what I did. For such a large pot of soup, it turned out perfect.
Add the half-and-half and cheese. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese has melted. Season with salt, seasoned salt, and pepper to suit your taste. Serve with a garnish of shredded cheese on top.