Cauliflower, Bacon and Corn Chowder Recipe
I know it’s still a balmy 20 odd degrees at the moment but I have a feeling the weather’s on the turn. Not for me, however, as I am off to a Greek Island for a couple of days with my lovely sister, how bloody lucky am I? When I return, however, it will be time to dig out my vests and if you follow me on Instagram, you will know I have already bought a new bobble hat for the winter. All this leads to it being my best time of the year – soup season. To celebrate the reemergence of one of my favourite lunch fodders, here’s a brilliant recipe for Cauliflower, Bacon and Corn Chowder.
My little break away is not just for pleasure as it’s bootcamp and pilates based too. In preparation I have been cutting out processed carbs and sugar so this Cauliflower, Bacon and Corn Chowder has been a perfect, filling dish, without the traditional heavy potato element of a chowder. The soup has a wonderful flavour filled base of leeks and garlic all cooked in the fat rendered from the crisp bacon used to top this dish. I utilised fresh corn as it’s still seasonal and sweet. It was a bit of a bloody mess and a potential death trap to remove the kernels from the cob, however, the resulting harvest was sweet and crisp and added so much to chowder. The addition of cauliflower is filling without being heavy and the touch of cream at the end makes this feel indulgent and a delicious treat. And it’s thanks to the Gourmet Traveller for the inspiration for this warming lunch dish.
Creamy, sweet, salty, crisp these are a few of my favourite words. Is that from the Sound of Music?
A couple of things to note with this line up a) the fresh corn, fiddly, but worth it b) I had back bacon in the fridge, but if you’ve got streaky, this will be just as amazing and c) what a beautiful colourful line up this is, can I just say.
Make a start on your chowder by heating the butter and just a splash of oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add your chopped bacon and cook until crisp and smelling divine.
Remove the bacon from the pan using a slotted spoon and leave to drain and cool on some kitchen paper for later. Leave the wonderful bacon juices in the pan, turn the heat down then tip in the sliced leeks, chopped onion and garlic and sauté for around 5 minutes or until starting to soften.
Roughly chop the cauliflower then add this to the pan, stir, then pour on the chicken stock and bring up to the simmer.
Put the lid on the pan and cook for around 5 minutes until the cauliflower is softening.
Take your sharpest knife and super carefully cut the corn kernels from the cobs. It will go everywhere, but each one is worth salvaging as it’s so sweet and crisp.
Tip the corn into the simmering pan and cook with the lid back on for a final 2 to 3 minutes or until the corn is only just cooked.
When the time is up, remove the lid, turn off the heat and either using your hand blender or in a standard blender, lightly process the chowder until it’s just roughly pureed. You don’t want baby food, leave some of the vegetables unprocessed.
Turn the heat back on low and stir through the cream or sour cream to your soup, then just bring up to the simmer. Don’t boil or the cream may split.
Once piping hot serve in warm bowls topped with a generous quarter of your crispy bacon and a herb of your choice. I went for chives as they were the least tatty looking ones in my slightly tired looking herb garden.
As it’s not properly the winter yet, this Cauliflower, Bacon and Corn Chowder isn’t a heavy, rib sticking sort of soup. It’s light enough to leave you wanting more and more and more, so when I say it serves 4, this may not be strictly true.
Cauliflower, Bacon and Corn Chowder Recipe
Serves 4 as a light lunch
You will need a large pan with a lid and a blender
6 rashers bacon, chopped into around 1 inch strips, I used back bacon but streaky is also good
A splash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped, outer leaves removed
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Half small cauliflower, chopped into rough chunks
750 ml chicken stock
2 corn cobs, or use a 325g tin of sweetcorn, drained
50ml double or sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs to garnish
Take a large saucepan or frying pan with a lid. Heat the butter and a splash of oil over a medium to high flame and add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and golden. Remove to a plate to drain on some kitchen paper for later, but leave the bacon fat in the pan. Turn down the heat then add the chopped onion, leek and garlic and sauté for around 5 minutes or until they are softened but without too much colour.
Add the cauliflower and stir well. Pour on the chicken stock and bring up to the simmer. Turn down to low then pop the lid on and cook for around 5 minutes. Carefully cut the sweetcorn kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife then add these to the saucepan and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until they are just cooked.
Remove the lid and roughly blitz using a hand blender or in batches using a food processor or blender. Don’t over process, you still want to see some of the corn in the chowder. Return to the pan and heat before adding the double or sour cream. Bring up to the simmer but don’t boil.
Serve piping hot topped with the crisp bacon pieces and some fresh herbs of your choice.