29 May 2008

Butternut-Corn Chowder with Goat Cheese Croutons Recipe

Author: danky

Lane Crowther, A contributing editor at Bon Appétit, says that “For twenty-five years our family endured side dishes of canned creamed corn and sweetened baked squash—simply for the sake of tradition. With this soup, I was finally able to convince everyone that a few classic Thanksgiving ingredients (like corn and squash) could be combined in a delicious new way.”

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

# 4ounces chilled soft fresh goat cheese (such as montrachet), cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
# 2large eggs, beaten to blend
# 1/2cup yellow cornmeal4ounces 1/4-inch-thick slices pancetta or 4 thick bacon slices, chopped
# 1medium onion, chopped
# 12 1/4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
# 4 1/2cups canned roasted-garlic chicken broth or low-salt chicken broth
# 2teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies*
# 116-ounce bag frozen sweet white corn (unthawed)2tablespoons olive oil2teaspoons minced fresh sage

Cut each cheese round into 8 wedges. Place eggs in small bowl. Place cornmeal in another bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dip cheese into eggs, then into cornmeal, turning to coat. Press cornmeal gently to adhere. Place on baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour.

Cook pancetta in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add butternut squash, broth and chilies; simmer until squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Mix in corn; simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer 3 1/2 cups soup to blender; puree. Mix puree into remaining soup in pan. Season with salt and pepper. (Pancetta and soup can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover pancetta; chill. Chill soup uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring pancetta to room temperature before continuing.)
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add frozen cheese; brown well, about 1 minute per side.

Meanwhile, bring soup to simmer. Mix in sage. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with pancetta and cheese croutons.

*Sold at Latin American markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

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