It seems that there is a National day for pretty much any food! Today is National Seafood Bisque Day. I thought it would be fun to cook up a big batch of shrimp chowder with bacon, corn and fresh thyme. It is the perfect soup recipe for the cool autumn nights!
I am not normally much of a soup or chowder lover but I really enjoy it when the cool weather rolls around This hot shrimp chowder is hearty and thick with the goodness of fresh thyme and smoked paprika mixed with pan fried bacon, heavy cream and corn kernels.
Making this bacon and fresh thyme shrimp chowder.
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This soup has a fairly long list of ingredients but is surprisingly easy to make. It comes together in one pot, bit by bit, adding layers of flavor with each new ingredient addition. I cooked the whole recipe in a Dutch oven to save on clean up later. Don’t you love one pot meals?
The bacon is cooked first. I cut it into small pieces and cooked it till crispy and then took it out to drain on paper towels.
Next, I left about a tablespoon of the bacon fat and added the shrimp. Be sure to de-vein the shrimp to give the best presentation. It just took a few minutes of cooking and then I set the shrimp aside with the bacon pieces.
In go the the onions and garlic. Can you see the way the flavors build on each other? Each new layer builds on the one before to give amazing flavor to this dish.
Spices, and fresh thyme adds more taste to the dish. My kitchen has a wonderful aroma right about now! Just add the spices to the onions and garlic and give everything a good stir to combine the flavors.
Skim milk, heavy cream and corn kernels add the last few flavors and then half of the soup mixture is blended with an immersion blender to a smooth consistency. This gives the chowder the perfect blend of a smooth soup with some texture from the the other half of the corn and onions mixture. (I jusr removed half of the soup, blended the other half and combined the two back in the pan.)
The final touches are to add back the bacon and shrimp to the creamy soup and then thicken it with a bit of arrowroot or cornstarch mixed with some chicken stock.
Serve hot, garnished with some fresh thyme and a few pieces of reserved bacon.
Tasting the creamy shrimp chowder.
It’s time to grab a spoon and dig into this amazing shrimp chowder. And make the spoon a big one! Those lovely chunks of shrimp will want the perfect resting spot before it hits your mouth.
This shrimp chowder is perfectly seasoned with just a hint of spice that comes from the red pepper flakes. Fall comfort food doesn’t get any better than this! It makes the perfect starter to a main meal. Add some crusty bread and this chowder also makes a wonderful main meal soup.
Your family will just love the taste of this thick and creamy shrimp chowder. It has a super rich flavor and comes together quickly. It will become a family favorite, for sure.
This hearty shrimp chowder is one of my favorite comfort food fall recipes. It has been slimmed down by using half skim milk instead of all cream. Thickening it with stock and arrowroot powder means that I can totally omit any cheese. It works out to 445 calories each and tastes out of this world.
- 5 slices of Bacon, cut into chunks
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tsp fresh thyme
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup of skim milk
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- Sea Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp of arrowroot or cornflour, mixed with ¼ cup of chicken stock
- Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- Cook the bacon in the dutch oven and place on paper towels to drain.
- Leave a tbsp of the bacon fat in the Dutch oven and cook the shrimp until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and add to the paper towels with the bacon.
- Add onions and garlic to the Dutch oven and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion are tender and translucent.
- Stir in the paprika, crushed red pepper, fresh thyme, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Add the corn, chicken stock, skim milk and heavy cream. Stir to combine well. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Take out about half of the mixture and use an immersion blender to blend the other half until if is creamy. Return the rest of the soup mixture back to the Dutch oven and add the shrimp and bacon, reserving some bacon for garnish.
- Mix 2 tbsp of arrowroot or cornflour with ¼ cup of chicken stock and add to the chowder. Heat well until the soup is lovely and thick.
- Top with the reserved bacon and fresh thyme and serve hot.
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