If this chowder seems sophisticated enough to come from a fine restaurant, it’s because it was inspired by a creamy, amazing corn chowder with red pepper I raved about at Fearrington House, outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina (operated, as it happened, by an old high school classmate of mine,
In a large, heavy saucepan, fry the bacon over moderate heat till almost crisp, add the onion, and cook, stirring, till softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer.
Add the broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Add the creamed corn and bring slowly to a boil, stirring. Strain through a coarse sieve into another large, heavy saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the potatoes, pumpkin, and green pepper to the liquid, cut the kernels off the ears of corn, and add to the mixture along with any milk scraped from the ears. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer till the potatoes and pumpkin are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the half-and-half and salt and pepper, stir well, and bring back to a simmer. Serve the chowder in deep soup bowls and garnish the tops of each portion with the diced red bell peppers.
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