Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Brr... the seasons are a changin'!

I wonder if Mother Nature has officially flipped the switch and swung us from summer to the cooling autumn season? We were just in the low 90's the other day with a mess of humidity and today I don't think we got much above 66 degrees. There is definitely a chill to the air and it doesn't look like it is going away!

Soups, stews, chili and lots of comforting pasta or casserole dishes, along with a nice heavy comforter for the bed (you know, the windows have to be open to let that fresh air in!), are the perfect way to ring in the changing of the seasons (even if it is still a bit early!). We started it off tonight with a Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon I made for dinner.

We rendered a few slices of salty bacon to crisp them up and collect the flavorful drippings that slowly release as they cook. To grab the most flavor, the onions are then added to just a little of those dripping and allowed to soften. To give the chowder some body, flour is tossed into the pot, followed by a stream of chicken broth for volume. Chunky pieces of a starchy potato are added and the chowder simmers away until the potatoes are tender enough to let the tines of a fork pierce through them without effort.

In the meantime, we massacred a crown of broccoli, slicing the florets into bite-sized pieces and peeling, then thinly slicing the stalk so there was little waste. The disassembled broccoli, corn kernels (hmm... I don't think my stash of kernels I put in the freezer is going to last us long enough!), a sprinkling of thyme and a cup of milk are hurried into the chowder to let the vegetables cook just long to turn them crisp-tender. Topped with a sprinkling of those crisp slices of bacon, we loved how the chowder was thick enough to suspend the vegetables in the bowl, yet not so thick you could stand a spoon up or so thin it felt water-y. The milk added a creaminess, but kept it light, while the generous amount of vegetables filled us up.


  1. Ooh I love chowders. And broccoli, though I don't think I've ever had it massacred! Would the flavor be seriously compromised without the bacon? Duh, I already know the answer, so since bacon is a pretty irresistable force for me, it will probably be included... We are nowhere near fall here, still hot as heck but there is apparently a hurricane remnant headed our way for Saturday. A rainy day sounds like a good time to have chowder....


  2. Oh, we do the same thing! LOVE the fresh air while burrowed under a heavy blanket - it's the best.

    Great recipe!

    PS - I just love the way you write, so descriptive and clean.

  3. This looks awesome! I'll have to give it a go.

    Keep an eye out, I might even blog the results on my own blog ;)

    // Mike

  4. Oh wow! I have a love affair with all things soup/chili/chowder! Now if only our weather would cooperate...sigh. Joe, that recipe is definitely going in my "keeper" file - thanks!

  5. I love broccoli... Will keep this one in mind.

  6. I love fall and the cooler weather is SO welcome after our hot and humid Labor day in MN! Chowder and soup and stews...yum!


  7. Quinn - The bacon is important in this, I think anyway!

    Mama - Glad I'm not the only one who does that!

    Mike - Thanks.

    Gigi - I'll try and blow some of this cooler weather your way!

    Crysto - Enjoy!

    Courtney - Oh yeah! Now, let's just hope it sticks around.