If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment, including chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, you know how important it is to have an online recipe box stocked with hearty, satisfying soup recipes. For some patients, the side effects of treatment can make maintaining a healthy weight challenging. Nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, mouth dryness or sores, changes in taste and scent perception and difficulty swallowing can all contribute to a reduced calorie intake and potential complications related to dehydration, malnourishment, muscle loss or fatigue. These complications can force a change or pause in treatment, or may even lead to further hospitalization.
High calorie, easy-to-eat chowders and soups are an easy way to prepare meals in bulk, for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking, and deliver high amounts of fat and calories in a format patients can usually tolerate. In this recipe, we start with the natural sweetness of corn (you can use either fresh or frozen, in this recipe), then fortify the soup with plenty of potatoes, creamy half-and-half and a few handfuls of shredded white cheddar to give the chowder body and flavor. It’s the perfect antidote for chasing the winter chill away, and can be served as outlined below, or pureed until perfectly smooth.
White Cheddar Corn Chowder
1/2 stick salted butter
4 yellow onions, diced
2 sweet red peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 cups chicken stock
2 lbs red or white potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
10 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (about 3 lbs)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 lb sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large soup or stock pot over medium heat, combine butter, onions and red peppers. Cook, stirring often, until onions soften and begin to turn translucent. Add flour, kosher salt, black pepper, turmeric, mustard and paprika and cook until flour is golden and spices are fragrant, about two minutes more. Add chicken stock and potatoes, and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Add corn, half-and-half and cheddar cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is melted and corn is cooked, about 2-3 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, or transfer (in batches) to a blender to puree, if desired.