Because corn chowder is usually made with smoked bacon, I like to add smoked salt and a smoked Gouda to this soup instead. If the potatoes are organic (and I hope they are; you don’t want to know what kind of heinous fumigants are used on conventionally farmed potatoes), leave the skins on them for extra flavor and a more rustic feel.
• 4 tbsp butter or ghee
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 pound small potatoes, sliced
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme
• 6 cups water
• 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
• 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced, or 4 ounces diced roasted chiles
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 1 cup grated smoked cheddar or Gouda cheese, divided
• Salt (preferably smoked)
• 1/4 cup grated smoked cheddar or Gouda cheese
• Chopped chives, for garnishing
1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Transfer the onion to a 7-quart slow cooker and add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and water. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.
3. Mash some of the potatoes against the inside of the cooker or use a handheld immersion blender to puree a small amount of potato and thicken the soup slightly.
4. Add the corn, chiles, half-and-half, and 3/4 cup of the cheddar. Add the salt to taste and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes, or just until all the ingredients are hot.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with the remaining cheddar and chopped chives.
Want more one-pot meals? Find more recipes in Easy Meals: One-Pot Recipes for Every Season.
This recipe has been reprinted with the permission of 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, by Lynn Alley, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011. Buy this book from our store: 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker.