Chowders originally were a fisherman’s stew that hosted the catch of the day; however, nowadays, a soup can be named a chowder if it meets the
A focal ingredient such as fish or a specific vegetable
A thickening agent like a roux, cream sauce, or potatoes
It must be thick and chunky (not pureed or creamed).
This Potato and Bacon Chowder checks all the boxes.
Potato and Bacon Chowder
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6
500 grams (1 pound) red or yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and cut into small cubes (about 3 cups of cubed potatoes)
4-5 strips of bacon
1 medium onion, small dice
2 stalks of celery, small dice
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/3 cup (85 mL) dry white wine
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) pepper
1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped chives or green onions
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
Garnish: Chopped chives or green onions, extra bacon bits
- Prepare Potatoes: Scrub potatoes; peel, or leave unpeeled; cut into small cubes – no larger than ½ inch. Steam or cook in a small amount of water until fork tender – 10-15 minutes.
- Prepare Bacon: Cut the bacon into small pieces and sauté until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat (discard the remainder). Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon for garnish.
- Saute Vegetables: In a large soup pot, heat the bacon fat over low-medium heat. Add the onion and celery pieces and cook until soft, translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic, oregano, and bacon pieces. Cook for an additional minute to heat through.
- Prepare the soup: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture; stir and cook for 2 minutes or until it is smooth. Slowly stir in the stock or broth and gradually bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked potato cubes and heat through. Slowly add the cream and bring back to a very gentle simmer. Add the chives and parsley.
- Adjust the seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and bacon bits.