Old Mill Corn Chowder

Have you ever been to the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN? It's in a quaint setting (Old Mill Square), and there are several cute little stores you can shop at, including a general store where they sell some of the things they offer in the restaurant.

One of those things is a dehydrated version of their corn chowder. IMO, their corn chowder is one of the best I've ever tasted. I was a little leery of the dehydrated version, because in my experience, most dehydrated soups aren't that great. The potatoes taste rubbery, and it's just weird. But I was willing to give this one a try, so we bought some the last time we were there.

All you need is a pan, water and the soup mix. I decided to make mine in the crockpot so that it could simmer all day.

After 3 hours on high, it was still looking pretty watery - and I was preparing myself for disappointment. I figured if it didn't thicken, I could try adding some flour or cornstarch - but I decided to wait a little longer.

After 6 hours, it was looking pretty tasty. The soup in the restaurant is more white & a little thinner in consistency, but I have to tell you - this is the best dehydrated soup I've ever tasted! Even the potatoes had the proper consistency!

This chowder has some kick to it! I think it's delicious. They say their secret ingredient is clam juice. You can't taste it, but I'm sure it gives it lots of the flavor. I can't figure out what's so "hot" in it, unless it's one of the spices they list as just "spices".

You can buy the mix online or at their store in Pigeon Forge. They also have a recipe on their site so you can even make it from scratch. There isn't anything listed in the recipe that would give it the "kick", so I suspect it won't taste the same. But I still want to try that next! (I made a printable version here.)

BTW - if you ever go to the Old Mill Restaurant - try the banana pudding. It's made the old fashioned way with Nilla wafers & everything. YUM!!!

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