dairy-free corn chowder

Creamy, rich, bacon-y, comforting...  delicious corn chowder, with no dairy in it!!

I am not eating dairy right now.  Hopefully just for one month, but maybe for the duration of Sweet Girl's nursing time...  we'll see.

Anyways, I have been craving all things dairy, of course, and I was so excited when my sweet friend Amy shared her dairy-free corn chowder recipe with me!  (Which, I believe, is a variation of her just-as-sweet mom, Dawn's, regular corn chowder.)

I was nervous, to say the least, but I trust Amy and I knew she would not steer me wrong.  (And she didn't!  This was delicious and SO rich and creamy tasting!) 

I changed things up a bit, of course, but the credit still fully goes to Amy, since I would have never tried making a dairy-free chowder without her help!

Thanks Amy!

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder Recipe
serves 4-8

1 pound bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 baked potatoes, peeled & diced
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 cups chicken stock
2 cans cream-style corn
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 teaspoons chipotle or cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour), optional
1-2 green onions, sliced, optional

In a large dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until nice and golden.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, turn the heat up a little higher and then dump in the onions and celery, sautéing until soft.  Stir in the garlic for a few seconds, and then stir in the potatoes and let them brown for 5 minutes or so.

Dump in the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved bacon, and stir well to combine.  Heat to just a light boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or longer.

A few minutes before serving, mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of cold water.  Slowly drizzle this mixture into the soup, while stirring constantly, and then continue to simmer for a few minutes until the soup has thickened to your liking.  (Stir in the masa harina now too, if you are using it!)

Serve with a bit of extra bacon and green onions for garnish, if you'd like!

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