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Cheddary Corn Chowder

Serves 4

3 ears of corn, cut kernels from cob and save the cobs
2 small potatoes, or one large one sliced into thin slices
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped or diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 thick slice of bacon or 2 thin slices, diced (optional)
1-2 Tablespoons oil
1 can (14 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (14 oz) water
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 cup or so shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and bacon in a medium soup pot. When it starts to sizzle, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute until soft, but not brown. Add the corn and saute another couple of minutes. Add the broth and water and potatoes and the corn cobs. Cook until the potato is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and the milk mixed with the flour. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove the corn cobs. Using a hand blender, puree about half the soup or put half the soup in a blender and puree. Mix, heat through then turn the stove off and stir in the cheddar cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper (it will need several large pinches of salt) If you like grill seasoning or any other flavored pepper you can use that.

Amy Sherman is a writer, recipe developer, and restaurant reviewer in San Francisco. She is the editor of Cooking with Amy, a food blog, and recently wrote WinePassport:Portugal.

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