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Recipe: Sweetcorn Chowder

As the nights get darker and temperatures start to drop, Mel Hutchfield has whipped up a New England favourite that is sure to cure those winter blues.

Ingredients:

  • 25g smoked pancetta rashers, chopped
  • 4-5 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 large roasted red peppers
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cajun spice mix
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp garlic purée
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tinned sweetcorn
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Fry the bacon in a little oil in a pan until crisp, then remove and set aside.

2. Add the shallot, celery and potato to the pan and cook on a medium heat until the onion starts to soften. Stir frequently to make sure the onions don't burn.

3. Using scissors, snip the peppers (easily bought ready roasted in jars) into strips, straight into the pan.

4. Add the thyme, cayenne and Cajun spice and stir into the veg for a few minutes.

5. Add the stock, milk, garlic and tomato purées and bring to a gentle simmer. Don't let it get too hot or the milk may curdle.

6. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potato is tender, then add the sweetcorn and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve topped with the crispy pancetta and some crusty bread or crackers.

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