Corn and Bacon Chowder

This takes me back to my childhood and cold winter days at the beach. The family bach in Coromandel always has a fully stocked cupboard of tins—just in case we are ever stranded up there. Something we always prayed would happen when the holidays neared an end. This cupboard always contains a couple of tins of corn, along with the essential reduced cream for when chips and dip are called for, undoubtably a tin or two of spaghetti or baked beans and now chopped tomatoes, coconut cream and just a few bottles of red wine.
The corn came in handy in the summer times for corn fritters and in winter for corn and bacon chowder.

50g butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
5–6 rashers of bacon, chopped
500g potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 litre chicken stock
1 tin creamed corn
1 tin corn kernels, drained
prosciutto (optional)

Melt the butter in a large pot, add the onion, celery and bacon and sauté, stirring often until the onion is soft. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Add the corn and stir. When heated through taste and adjust the seasoning.
At this point you can use a stick blender or place half the chowder in a blender to achieve a thick chowder. If you don’t have either of these you can replace the tin of corn kernels with creamed corn.
To tart up this very humble dish, garnish it with a couple of rashers of crispy Prosciutto, something we would never have had at the bach. Lay the prosciutto on an oven tray and bake at 180°C for 5–10 minutes.

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