corn chowder

I'm making a pact not to make anymore sweets for a while.  As tempting as it is to try out all the amazing recipes on pinterest, I'd like to lay of the sweet stuff for a bit and try making some more filling, hot meals.  I made this soup a couple weeks ago and I've made different versions of it since then. I really like how easy it is to play around with soup.  I subbed in carrots for onions the second time I made it and it still tasted really great!  Chowders are just the best for warming up my insides during the colder months.  So thick and filling and radiates the warmth from your insides out.  I think I might try to make clam chowder next, maybe with an Alaskan vibe to it.  I absolutely love clam chowder and I've always liked it best when it has a bit of an Alaskan spin to it.  A little taste of home.

Maybe I'll do a bunch of my favorite Alaskan-y recipes.  I have a bunch of recipes from my Mom and Grandma that remind me so much of home... halibut, salmon, crab, lox and bagels, etc, etc.  A couple years ago for Christmas my Grandma and Grampa gave me a recipe box, which was carved by my grampa and filled with my Grandmas recipes!  I'm ashamed to say that I haven't made a single one of the recipes yet, but I'm going to change that, effective immediately.  I really love my Grandma's take on sort of homestead Alaskan cooking.  She's allergic to fish, so she couldn't make any of the Alaskan fish dishes (a shame, since my Grampa, Dad, and Uncle were all commercial fishermen!).  Alaska back in the mid 1900's didn't have a lot of fresh produce options and stuff, so she made do with whatever they had available.  It's so neat to see how creative she was, working with whatever she had (awesome stuff like slim jim chili, pioneer mac and cheese, and beans and wieners).  As a kid I remember looking so forward to getting some of her amazing Scotch-a-roos in the mail, and just the other day my mom mailed us a care package with a tupperware full of scotch-a-roos in it!  I felt an overwhelming sense that someday I'd be sending my kids and grandkids care packages filled with scotch-a-roos...

(adapted from Suzie the Foodie)

1 (15.4 oz) can of corn, drained
4 strips of bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 large potato, diced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp sriracha

1. Crisp 4 slices of bacon in a large soup pot and remove. Throw your onion in the bacon grease and saute for a minute, then add the garlic and season with a bit of salt and pepper to your liking.

2. Add the flour and stir it around for about a minute, then add the chicken stock and your diced potato. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the corn and your bay leaves, and two teaspoons of sriracha. Don't be afraid, it won't make it super spicy, just give it a bit of a zing. Let this simmer for another 15 minutes.

4. Remove the bay leaves and blend about 1/2 - 2/3 of the soup in a blender (or you can use an immersion blender if you have one), and stir the pureed soup back into the pot with the rest of the soup.

Crunch up the bacon you crisped at the beginning to use as a garnish along with some grated cheddar and some chopped green onion, or if you're like me and only have cilantro, that works too.  Tastes amazing with some crunch bread to it soak up!