As economic worries become yet worse and more frightening, what could be a better Recession-Proof Recipe this week than a soothing cup of chowder?
Comforting, delicious, endlessly flexible and — oh yes! quite economical — chowder is warm, filling and there for you when the economy is tanking and your savings are sad and wilted.
We talked about Classic Manhattan and New England Chowder last January, but now that the season of summer corn is on the wane and the season of autumnal apples is on the rise, it seems appropriate to think about a combination of apples, corn and a few bits of smoky bacon or ham.
A nice option for the crisp days of late summer-early autumn, don’t you agree?
Apple-Bacon Chowder (Serves 4-6, Makes about two quarts)
4 slices bacon or 1/2 cup smoky ham, diced 1 medium onion, diced
2 small or 1 large potato, diced
3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut away (or use 16oz frozen corn)
2 golden delicious apples, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper or cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat, cook the diced bacon or ham until it begins to brown, about 15 minutes.
- Add onion and cook an additional 10 minutes, keeping the bacon/ham and onion moving to prevent uneven cooking.
- As the onion begins to look translucent, add the diced potato, corn kernels and diced apple pieces. Cook 10 minutes before pouring in the stock and milk.
- Simmer 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with the salt and black or cayenne pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
If you like a thick chowder, purée about 1 cup of the soup in a blender or food processor before stirring it back into the pot, or simply use a stick blender to crush some of the potato and apple pieces.
And if you’re not a bacon person, just skip it entirely and use a little olive oil to cook down the onions. You could also dice a red pepper in place of the apples. See? Versatile. Easy. Tasty.
Serve up a cup alongside a crisp green salad and a crust of bread. And it goes down easy with the last of the summer ales and lagers that the grocery stores are clearing off the shelves right now.
So try not to think about the banking crisis. Enjoy your soup. And think about all the lovely, thrifty lunches you’ll pack for yourself this week.