This delicious chowder is loaded with veggies and lean protein. There’s no cream as it’s thickened with corn!
If you reside here in the U.S., many of you are probably busy as bees today, getting ready for the big feast tomorrow. I promise this won’t take long – but I just wanted to drop in today to give you a little Thanksgiving gift, something you might need on Friday.
Yup, this recipe is a gift, as I think you’ll find it’s a super delicious and healthy way to use up your turkey leftovers. Just don’t let everyone gobble up all of the big bird tomorrow! It’s a thick, flavorful, nutritious soup, with lots of veggies and chunks of lean turkey. Chowders often call for large amounts of flour and cream to make them thick and creamy. Not this one, just a small scoop of flour and a cup and a half of whole milk.
You’ll honestly never miss the cream though. I learned a delicious little trick from Cook’s Illustrated to make a thick, rich corn chowder base. You simply combine milk and tiny, sweet frozen corn in a blender till it’s silky smooth. The pureed corn mixture gives the soup an intense corn flavor and thickens it at the same time, without extra fat and flour!
I made this soup recently for a lunch I served to a special group of friends. They loved it, and many of the guests requested the recipe. I still had a little tweaking to get it just right, but it’s there now and I thought you might enjoy it too.
Besides leftover turkey, you’ll need carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, milk and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to make this soup. Oh, and a few slices of thick, smokey bacon to add a layer of wonderful flavor. The bacon is kept separate from the soup and adds just a touch of indulgence as a finishing touch when serving.
The chowder comes together quickly, except for chopping all the veggies! Have no fear! I have a little timesaving secret weapon that works like a dream for recipes like this. All of the veggies (the onion, carrots and potatoes) were chopped in less than 5 minutes with my Vidalia Chop Wizard. If you’ve been following The Café for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this inexpensive little kitchen workhorse. I use it to chop onions, carrots, cucumbers, sweet and regular potatoes, squash of all varieties, jicama, turnips, beets, apples… it’s worth it’s weight in gold!
Throw together a pot of this Turkey Corn Chowder and forget about cooking for the rest of the weekend. It makes plenty and warms up beautifully! Bon Appetit!
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you living in the United States. Have a wonderful, sweet time with family and friends. We’ll be counting our myriad of blessings and you are definitely among them! Thanks for encouraging us and for faithfully following us. There wouldn’t be a Café without you!
Lots of people ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen. Here’s what I used to make this recipe.
- 6 slices thick cut smokey bacon
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 medium cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes peeled and chopped in medium dice*
- 1 pound carrots peeled and chopped in medium dice*
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey
- 2 10- ounce bags sweet baby frozen corn**, thawed
- Cut bacon strips lengthwise and then strips cut into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, cook bacon until golden, stirring frequently. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on several thicknesses of paper towels to drain.
- Pour bacon fat from Dutch oven into a small bowl, then measure 2 tablespoons and return it to the pot. Discard remaining bacon fat or use for another purpose. Add diced onions and cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir the onions occasionally . After they cook for a few minutes, you’ll be able to scrape the bacon “frond” (brown stuff) from the bottom of the pot. This will add wonderful flavor to your soup. Add flour and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring continually.
- Add chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of the rosemary and salt and pepper to the pot with the onion mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are very tender. Try one of each before you proceed to the next step to make sure they’re done, since every stove is different.
- While the soup is simmering, combine milk and one bag of thawed corn in a blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is silky smooth. You may have to stop a few times to stir the mixture and keep it moving.
- When carrots and potatoes are tender, remove bay leaves then add the corn/milk mixture to the pot along with the other 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, the turkey and the second bag of corn. Return to a simmer then taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in bowls garnished with a small scoop of the bacon bits and a little extra chopped rosemary, if desired.
*I use my Vidalia Chop Wizard to chop these veggies lickety-split! The small grate is perfect for chopping the onions finely and the large grate works well for the potatoes and carrots.
** I really like Birds Eye Frozen Baby Gold and White Corn as it's readily available and is very sweet and tender.