Add diced chicken breast, crabmeat, or clams to taste for meatier chowder.
2or 3 Ears of fresh corn
1. Peel and dice potatoes and place in a 4-quart pot.
2. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and stir in contents of Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder Mix. Return to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
4. Add heavy cream and heat uncovered on low for 30 minutes until slightly thickened.
5. Remove bay leaf before serving. If desired add salt and pepper to taste.
When fresh corn is available, cut the kernels off 2 or 3 cobs and set aside. Add cobs to the broth with the potatoes and continue with the recipe. Remove cobs and add the fresh corn with the cream.
To boost vegetables, add along with potatoes, 1½ cups chopped cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, or leeks.
To boost whole grains, and to further thicken soup add 1 cup quick oatmeal in final 10 minutes of cooking. Puree soup with hand immersion blender.
To give a Mediterranean twist, add 1 pound scallops or cut up firm white fish.
To cut saturated fat, puree 1 can low sodium corn with 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat milk until creamy. Substitute for cream.
To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.
Scallops and Shrimp Chowder: Add ½ pound each of scallops and peeled medium shrimp after adding the cream for last ten minutes of cooking time.
Slow Cooker Variation
Recommended crock pot: 4 quart.
Preparing the Soup: • Peel and dice 2-3 potatoes and place potatoes and broth in the bowl of 4-quart slow cooker. • Add contents of the Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder Mix, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. • Add cream and continue cooking on low 30 minutes to one hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Additional Tips: • If fresh corn is in season, strip the kernels off 2 or 3 ears of corn and put the cobs in the slow cooker for the all-day cooking. Add the fresh kernels with the cream for the final hour of cooking. • If adding fresh or frozen seafood, add that for the final hour of cooking also. • Many people like to add cooked, shredded chicken.