Fresh Corn Chowder with Crispy Bacon

Ingredients:

Olive oil
7 slices pancetta or bacon – cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 yellow onion – chopped
1 celery stalk – diced
1 small leek – cleaned and chopped
1/3 cup Chardonnay
1 poblano chili pepper
2 yukon gold potatoes – small dice
3 fresh thyme sprigs
4-5 cups chicken stock
5 ears fresh corn – kernels cut off the cob, approximately 4 cups
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Cilantro – chopped, for garnish

Preparation:

In a large heavy pot, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until crispy, 5-7 minutes. Remove 1/2 of the bacon and set aside in bowl for garnish. Add garlic, onion, celery and leek to remaining bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes until onion and leek are soft. Add 1/3 cup Chardonnay and cook over medium heat until reduced by half.

Meanwhile, prepare the poblano chili pepper. Char over a flame and then sweat in a closed zip lock bag for 10 minutes. Remove stem, seeds, skin and chop finely. Set aside.

Add potatoes, thyme, and stock to the large pot and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Add corn and chopped poblano chili pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer to cook corn through about 10 more minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Add cream and lemon juice. Stir well. Take immersion blender and blend pulsing 4-5 times or until desired consistency. Serve immediately with bacon bits and cilantro as garnish. Serves 6.

Serve with:

Kunde Family Winery Chardonnay – Wildwood Vineyard