A couple people have asked lately about how my cat allergies turned out and, never one to miss a good episode of The Poowwwwer of Positive Thinking, I must tell you. The first 2-3 weeks were spent sneezing so much I developed visible abs. Every time I touched the cat and then my face, whatever I’d touched got a little swollen, red and itchy…eyes, mouth, nose, you get the idea. I know it wasn’t just a cold since my symptoms went away every time I left the house and came back every time I came home. Determined my body could adapt, I never really considered getting rid of the cat. Suddenly, about 3 weeks in, I was better! Good to go! Not a sneeze, not an itch. Now I snuggle the cat and even sleep without a sniffle immediately after removing it from upon my pillow. Small miracles, friends.
So now I’ve set your mind at ease and made you wonder what allergy YOU can overcome by prolonged exposure, let’s direct some of our positive thinking toward fall! Soup weather has returned! Along with pie, cinnamon bun, and general comfort food weather.
Fall is no good for my waistline, but it sure is good for getting me back into the kitchen after a season of heat where the last thing I care about it cooking. I’ve suddenly been having renewed urges to meal plan, make dinners that take more than 20 minutes, and spend some time cooking veggies we’ve been enjoying raw all summer.
There are few things I love more than a big pot of soup simmering on the stove for dinner on a blustery, rainy day. We enjoyed this soup first at someone’s house for lunch one Sunday, and I couldn’t leave without getting the recipe. I adapted it a little based on what I had on hand and, like any good soup, it can take a lot of adaptation and still be delicious. Corn is one of my very favourite vegetables, although now every time I eat it I’m reminded of our German boarders who had to get used to my fondness for corn – where they live, corn is really only a food for animals, not something people eat for dinner. They might turn some heads if they made this soup :) Since fresh ears of corn are no longer at every corner in town, I used frozen corn. With the addition of a bit of sugar to the broth to bring the corn’s sweetness out, you would never know a difference.
The garlic and herb scones deserve a post of their own they’re so delicious. Well, wouldn’t you know it, they have one :) Sliced a little differently, but same recipe I use all the time, these are the perfect accompaniment to make this a meal…as are these sticky cinnamon buns, which we definitely also ate with this soup. ‘Twas a good night.
- 8 strips of bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced mushrooms (optional)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp dried thyme, or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb russet potatoes, cleaned and diced (skin-on or peeled)
- 4-5 cups cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream (can sub 2% milk)
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese
- Optional: Minced fresh chives for garnish
- In large soup pan, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until crisp. Meanwhile, chop onion and celery. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease and remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Add butter to remaining bacon grease and sauté onion, celery and mushrooms in this for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, clean and chop potatoes.
- When onions are softened and translucent, stir in flour, thyme, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Let cook for about 1 minute, then add chicken broth, potatoes, corn and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, until potatoes are tender when stabbed with a fork. Stir in cream, cheeses, and reserved bacon. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring until cheeses are melted. Add salt and pepper if needed to taste, and serve hot.
Yum, yum, yum! I love corn chowder and will definitely have to try this one!