Summer Shrimp and Corn Chowder

  • 4 slices smoked bacon -- cut into one-inch pieces
  • 2 cups corn kernels -- frozen will do, but fresh is best
  • 1 onion -- diced
  • 2 stalks celery -- diced
  • 1/2 red pepper -- diced
  • 2 cloves garlic -- chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large sweet potato -- peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb. raw shrimp -- peeled and deveined
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne (or chili oil) to taste

Fry the bacon in a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat and set aside on paper towels to drain. Leave the drippings in the pan for cooking the vegetables.

Raise the heat to medium-high, add the corn and let it sit in place until it chars a bit, about 8 minutes, mix it, repeat and set aside. Reduce the heat back down to medium, add the onion, celery and pepper and sauté until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the broth, corn, and sweet potato and simmer until the sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch about halfway through simmering and stir to thicken. When the sweet potatoes have softened, crush them slightly using the back of a spoon. Add the cream and shrimp, and simmer until the shrimp is cooked, about 2-3 minutes.

Season to taste and serve garnished with the reserved bacon. Drizzle with chili oil for additional heat, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 60 minutes