Hot soup in summer borders on felony, unless that soup is chowder. We ix-nayed the potatoes and filled ours with lighter but flavor-packed morsels: sweet corn shaved off the cob (though frozen will do), tiny briny shrimp, season-resistant bacon and a full cup of a bright, golden lager. Bakery biscuits or savory cheese scones would be delicious on the side; masochists can, of course, turn on the oven and make them from scratch. Either way, theyâ€™ll help make this chowder a splendid summer meal. Just donâ€™t call it soup.
- 4 slices bacon, halved crosswise
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 scallions, whites and light greens only, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 11⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup standard lager or cream ale
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
- kernels (thawed if frozen)
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, plus more to garnish
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, reserving the fat in the skillet. Crumble the bacon when cool.
2. Add the butter, scallions and celery to pan; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne; sauté 30 seconds. Add the flour; stir
1 minute more. Stir in the milk, broth, beer, thyme, bay leaf, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and a good grind of
pepper; bring just to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in corn; simmer 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon chives and half the bacon. Simmer until shrimp is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Ladle into serving bowls; garnish with the reserved bacon