So it's almost 4:00 on Sunday afternoon. Maybe you've been lazing around with a stack of papers and a ball game on TV. Maybe you've been running all day; to church, then out to get a kid's hair cut, then Target and Aubuchon Hardware and the grocery store. Whichever - you don't want to spend a lot of time and energy on dinner. Take-out is pricy and the thought of Tuna Helper leaves you cold. You know what would be great tonight? Homemade soup. Corn Chowder. Or Baked Potato soup. Yum. But doesn't that take hours and hours? Not if you cook my Two Chowder Special, which, if you insist, I will share with you.
Two large pots - whatever you usually make soup or stew in
1/3 pound bacon
Enough potatoes to fill the pots up half or two-thirds of the way to the top. (Sorry not to have a specific measurement. Basically, if you like it chunky, lots of taters. Fewer spuds = more liquid. If you use a thin skinned variety, you won't have to peel them.)
Bay leaves (but it's okay if you don't have them.)
Milk ( I use 1%. Really, anything goes.)
Chicken broth (homemade if I have some in the freezer. Otherwise, canned.)
1 can of corn
1 can of creamed corn (you can substitute frozen for either of these)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream (I use light, but considering the cheese, it is sort of like ordering a diet soda at Dunkin Donuts)
Put the pots on the stove top to heat. Finely dice the bacon, divide into two parts, and toss it into the pots. Dice the onions, divide, and add them to the two pots. While this delicious-smelling mix is sauteeing, peel and cube the potatoes. Divide the spuds and add them to the pots - more into the potato soup pot, a little less in the corn chowder pot. Add chicken broth to cover, two bay leaves each if you have them, and boil those suckers until you can stick a fork through them. Now we add the finishing touches:
For the corn chowder:
Add in the two cans of corn. Take the pot off the heat and add milk. (How much? I don't know. How milky do you like it?) Stir and season to taste.
(Like clam chowder instead? Substitute fish broth for the chicken broth and add canned clams instead of corn. Yes, I said canned clams. I'm not Linda Greenlaw.)
For the Baked Potato Soup:
Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar (depending on the size of your pot.) Stir in 2 to 4 heaping tablespoons of sour cream. Remove from heat and add milk. Stir and season to taste.
Told you it was easy. (Even easier if you have potato preparers, i.e., children.) A bag of salad and a baguette from the bakery department, and you're all set. (Although I confess I've served these without any accompaniments at all. I'm no Betty Crocker, either.) It should make enough leftovers for a few lunches, as well.