Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Shrimp can be difficult to serve in any kind of soup or stew. It takes only a few minutes of overcooking to turn the shrimp tough. To get around this, this chowder is prepared and then, just before serving, the shrimp are sauteed in very hot butter. The shrimp are added to the chowder as it is served. This all sounds like more work than it is, especially since the shrimp cook in just 3 or 4 minutes. Do-ahead tip: The soup is best the first day, but can be prepared a day in advance if necessary. Freeze for longer storage. The shrimp can be peeled and deveined hours in advance. Refrigerate until ready to cook. As published in The Washington Post, 01-26-2000.
- 3 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh corn kernels or 1 1⁄2 lbs canned corn
- 1⁄4 lb thick-sliced bacon, cut 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, cut 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large celery ribs, cut 1/2-inch dice
- 2 lbs russet potatoes, cut 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
- 4 ounces butter, 1 stick
- 2 1⁄2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 1⁄4 cup chopped chives
- In a medium pot, combine the chicken broth and 1 pound of the corn.
- Bring the broth to a boil; immediately remove the pan from the heat.
- Working in batches, transfer the corn mixture to a blender or food processor and process until the corn is almost pureed but slightly chunky.
- Set aside.
- In a 6- to 8-quart pot over medium heat, saute the bacon pieces until the fat has been rendered and the bacon pieces are golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon pieces to a platter lined with paper towels to drain.
- Set aside.
- Heat the skillet with the bacon drippings over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper and celery.
- Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add the pureed corn mixture along with the remaining 1/2 pound corn kernels, the potatoes, milk, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so the chowder is just barely at a simmer.
- Simmer the chowder until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add hot pepper sauce and additional salt to taste, if needed.
- Just before serving, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add some of the shrimp, being careful not to crowd the pan.
- Saute until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
- Repeat with the remaining butter and shrimp.
- Stir the chives and bacon into the hot soup.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls and add 5 or 6 shrimp to each bowl.
- Serve immediately.
- If serving as a buffet, place the dish of sauteed shrimp next to the soup and let guests serve themselves.