Late Summer is upon us, along with just about every vegetable you could possibly want to throw into a soup, stew or chowder. I love chowder! I did not have the privilege of enjoying any kind of chowder as a child, it wasn’t until my restaurant days that chowder and I were introduced. Then I fell in love with the food channel, back when it was actually enjoyable to watch (you know the early to mid 90’s). One day I happened to watch a show that featured Jasper White. Jasper happened to have a cookbook called ‘50 Chowders‘ and the show was fascinating! He demonstrated 2 or 3 different chowders and went into all the ins and outs of making a killer chowder. It wasn’t until years later when I was on an island right off of Nantucket where we dug for clams when all that I learned from that show came back to me. That night I made the best chowder ever, and I wasn’t the only one who thought so either. So, thanks Jasper White!
Anyway, back to the chowder featured here, this chowder definitely benefited from my inspiration by Jasper as well. This Late Summer Chowder is a hearty conglomeration of vegetables in a creamy broth base with the flavor of bacon permeating throughout! What more could you want? This chowder also features plentiful fresh in season herbs adding a complexity to the flavor that I feel is critical to the success of the dish. Make sure to top the soup with a small amount of fresh thyme as well.
- 6-8 slices thick cut high-quality bacon (no hormones or additives, or antibiotics, preferably pastured)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 to 3 cups organic potatoes, sweet potatoes or winter squash, diced small
- 4 to 5 large ears organic corn, kernels scraped from the cobs OR 10 ounces frozen organic corn (OPTIONAL - if you eat corn - if not substitute)
- 1 medium yellow squash, finely chopped
- 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine (optional)
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- Handful of fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley, minced (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- Pinch of chipotle powder (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca (optional)
- 4 to 5 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 cups sour cream, cream or coconut cream (if using sour cream you won't really need the thickener)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Hot sauce
- In a soup pot fry the bacon slices until crisp. Remove from pan.
- Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes or winter squash, corn or summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, jalapeño, thyme, bay leaf, and paprika and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Sprinkle the arrowroot or tapioca into the pot (if using), stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Gradually stir in the broth and simmer until thickened a bit.
- Stir in the cream and fresh herbs and simmer the potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
- Top with the crisp bacon crumbles and a bit more thyme and hot sauce, if desired (my favorite is Yucatan Sunshine). Maybe even top with another dollop of sour cream if that is what you are using.
- If you want to make this soup heartier, add some diced ham or cubed cooked chicken. A light white flaky fish, like Sole, would hold up nicely in this chowder; just add some pieces in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Maybe even some shrimp would be nice. You decide!
- Makes about 3½ quarts.
The nice thing about this chowder is that it is very versatile. Great for a more traditional WAPF type diet, Paleo, Primal or even suitable for GAPs. The flavor gets richer after a day, so try making it ahead of time and reheat it when you are ready to serve it. It also freezes well. We eat most of the chowder (just my teenager and I) and I freeze one quart for a later time. We love it with a touch of our favorite hot sauce, Yucatan Sunshine, which you can find at Whole Foods, or find it here from my affiliate partner, Amazon.
Want more soup recipes? Winter Soups, a downloadable recipe eBook, is a collection of 52 nourishing soups from your favorite real food bloggers. Click on the banner below to learn more about ‘Winter Soups‘.
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