Smoky Corn Chowder with Shrimp

We’re finally 100% unpacked, and I have this DELICIOUS corn chowder to thank for it. Halfway through making this, I went to get our blender and discovered that the blender was nowhere to be found. Apparently I had classily packed it inside our storage ottoman, covered it in a beach towel and wrapped it with duct tape. You know, like adults do.

Anyway, I am glad I found it, because as previously mentioned, this chowder was delicious – spicy and smoky and filling but not too filling. One important note, though: these quantities definitely only make enough for two people, so double or triple it if you’re feeding a crowd.

SMOKY CORN CHOWDER WITH SHRIMP (recipe from Bev Cooks)

2-4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 pinch crushed red pepper
3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half or cream
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
basil slivers for garnish (optional)

  1. Heat medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from and set aside on paper towel to drain. Drain all but 1 tbsp bacon fat, if you have that much in the pot.
  2. Raise heat to medium-high. Add shrimp to pot and sear on one side for 2 minutes; flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove shrimp from pot and set aside.
  3. Add a little olive oil if necessary. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté another minute.
  4. Add fresh corn and toss to combine, sautéing a few more minutes. Add stock and cream to pot. Stir to combine. Keep on a low simmer for 15 minutes, then salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If you have an immersion blender, place it in the pot and pulse it a few times until about half of the soup becomes creamy, still leaving whole kernels as well. If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle about a cup and a half of the soup into a blender and pulse until creamy. Pour back into the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Serve chowder with shrimp and reserved bacon crumbles. Garnish with slivered basil if desired.

Yum! So nice and smoky. Two things – one, I used turkey bacon and think it would have been even more delicious with regular bacon. And two, I had pretty low-quality paprika (the kind you buy from Target for 99 cents). Since so much of the flavor in this is dependent on the paprika, it’d be worth it to use the good stuff.

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