Birthday Chaos & archived Corn Potato Soup!

Happy rainy, cold Friday friends! Is it cold and gross where you are? It's dark and dreary in Charlotte today. I am up to my eyes in birthday party planning today. Macie is having her 3 year old party tomorrow. WAH!!!! Seriously, typing that she is about to be three makes me tear up! Miranda and I were talking (and when I say talking, I mean texting) about how it seems impossible that she is three. Miranda texted me a picture of Macie from a couple summers ago and I was all choked up. It's amazing how fast kids grow.

How did this girl ...

become this girl...

so fast??

I'm not ready!!

Anywho - I'm telling you all of this to say that I am working on lots of stuff, but it all for my mini-teenager's birthday party. I'll give you the run down on the whole chaotic event later, I promise. For now though, I'm pulling a soup out of the archives that I wish I had the time to make today. It's the perfect day for soup. Go make some and think of me!!

Remember when you were a kid and you took the family vacations? We didn't take a ton of family vacations as a kid to far off places but when I was in 6th or 7th grade we took a big one. We went to Vermont for a week and stayed in a house there so we could meet up with my aunt and uncle and cousins. I know you're wondering why we would all voyage to Vermont in the summer, it's not exactly a summer destination. We all went to Vermont because that's where my mom and uncle are from. They grew up in Burlington and as my mom would say, they are "true Vermonters." Being that I was maybe 12 on this trip - I didn't care too much. We went by the houses they lived in, where my grandfather's shaving brush factory was, the school my mom went to and I sat like a bump on a log. Yeah, I was a bratty kid. Great story right?? There are a couple things that stood out for me on the trip to Vermont and I wish I could say it was one of my mom's family memories ... but it wasn't. The first thing was that we got to tour the Ben & Jerry's factory and I got to eat an ungodly amount of ice cream and the second was soup. It's funny how something as simple as soup has stuck with me for about - ahem - 20 years. 

While we were in Vermont my mom and I went to this mall/market area (I don't really remember what it was) and I was hungry so my mom got me a cup of Corn Potato Chowder and can I tell you - life changing. It had some cumin and some sausage and a complex back flavor with the sweet corn. It was SO good. From that day on I have tried to duplicate the recipe. When I saw Mama Loves Food's pin for Corn and Potato Chowder I decided it was time to try my hand at it again. The weather has gotten a little cooler and soup seemed like the perfect fall meal. 

Like I said before, I was trying to duplicate a recipe I haven't had it 20 years so I had to work out some kinks. I think I nailed it though. This soup is so good. Allen had two bowls for dinner and then brought more of it for lunch. This soup is so yummy and so perfect for a fall evening. I think it's going to be added into my fall and winter rotation permanently. You need to try this soup. It's worth it. Before you cast the recipe aside because the sausage has to be cooked ahead of time, stop. I hate slow cooker recipes that require cooking ahead of time but since it's sausage and I couldn't get a real answer on whether it can go into a slow cooker raw, I cooked it and it didn't take all that long. Make the soup - DO IT!!

Corn Potato Chowder with Sausage
adapted from Mama Loves Food

½  pound sausage, cooked and crumbled (and drained)
2  ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes (approximately 5-6 medium sized potatoes), peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
6 cups kernel corn (I used frozen)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6  garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
16 ounces (2 cups) half & half (or half heavy cream, half milk)
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT half & half in the slow cooker. Make sure you add some salt & pepper at this point because the potatoes need it for flavor.
Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.
Blend a little less than half the soup using an immersion blender (or just scoop it into your upright blender then return to slow cooker).
Add half & half and continue cooking, uncovered, for about another 10 minutes, or until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Don't you want a bowl?