It’s happening. The leaves are fading, the darkness of evening comes earlier every day and you can smell a crispness in the air. It may still be warm in San Francisco but there is no denying that Fall is fast approaching. I always feel a small momentary sadness when summer comes to an end but I love fall so darn much it really is only a fleeting thought. I am making a concerted effort to eat as many tomatoes, stone fruits and fresh corn as I can before the season is over but I am also getting pretty excited for apples and pumpkins and all the cozy spiciness that goes with them. To ease into the change (and use up some homemade chicken stock) I decided to make this Chanterelle Chowder with Corn and Bacon, the perfect bowl of warmth on a newly chilly evening.
4 strips bacon, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 – 2 1/2 cups (6 ounces) roughly chopped chanterelles (sadly I couldn’t find them, I used crimini and I’m sure my soup lacked flavor because of it, ugh, next time)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) wheat beer or white wine (I used wine)
2 1/2 cups (1 pound 4 ounces) chicken or vegetable stock (I used slightly more stock and a bit less cream)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cubed (1” inch) yellow potatoes (2 small/medium)
1 cup corn kernels (6 ounces) (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) cream (I used slightly more stock and a bit less cream)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (do NOT omit the lemon, it totally transforms the soup!)
1. Cook the bacon in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until the fat renders and it just starts to crisp, 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the onion, fennel and garlic with a pinch of salt then saute for an additional 7 minutes until the onions are translucent.
3. Turn the heat to medium-high then add the thyme and chanterelles. Saute until caramelized in parts, 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with the beer (or wine), scraping up the browned bits off the bottom.
4. Add the stock and potatoes, bring to a simmer then cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
5. Add the corn and cream and simmer just until the corn is cooked through.
6. Stir in dill, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Finish with lemon juice then taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Enjoy!