By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Freezer Aisle Corn Chowder

Before soup season comes to a halt, I wanted to share this quick and delicious corn chowder. I developed the recipe, which I call "Freezer-Aisle Corn Chowder", to take advantage of frozen convenience products. While these products save you time, they also allow you to create a rich and filling homemade soup. Using frozen stir-fry pepper blend, whole kernel corn and diced Southern-style hash brown potatoes keeps your time at the cutting board to a minimum.

The frozen stir-fry pepper blend contains sliced red, green and yellow bell peppers and onions. I thaw the medley in a colander over a bowl, pat the slices dry with paper towels, then give them a quick dice. The peppers are a flavor-booster, but can be omitted. Simply substitute chopped onion. This flavorful chowder can be prepared from start to finish in 30 minutes. Add a tossed salad and rolls, and dinner is served.

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 cup frozen stir-fry pepper blend, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups diced potatoes or frozen Southern style hash browns
  • 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash cayenne, optional
  • 1 16-ounce can cream-style corn
  • 1 cup whipping cream
Fry bacon in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, until crisp. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Add stir-fry blend and celery to bacon grease and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add flour, stirring, 1 minute. Add bay leaf and 1 can of the chicken broth, stirring until smooth.

Add remaining can of broth, diced potatoes, frozen corn, thyme, salt, black pepper and cayenne, if desired. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. When potatoes are tender, stir in cream-style corn and whipping cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.