It is a perfect late summer or early fall soup. This earthy, rich soup is full of flavor.

As I had so much fun making grilled corn on the cob, I decided to do it again, and this time, I would prepare corn chowder with them.

corn chowder

I am in love with this easy corn chowder recipe.  The corn’s intense sweetness comes out beautifully, and it lingers with you.

The recipe stated 45 minutes, but if you are using frozen corn, it will take only 30 minutes.

Of course, if you do not have fresh sweet corn or have the time to make grilled corn on the cob, frozen corn will work beautifully as well. Do not feel intimidated by this soup.

Although there are a couple of steps, all incur in the same pot.  Less mess, more time to have fun with the family.

Shall we dive into this easy recipe?

In this Article

What pot to use?

As with all soups, the required pot is a “stockpot” or soup pot. I have a couple, and yet each time, I gravitate to a wider cocotte or casserole saucepan.

Why? With the tall stockpot, it takes longer for the whole pot to get hot and start boiling.

By using a wider saucepan, and my favorite is Le Creuset which is made of enamel cast iron, the soup comes to the boiling point faster, and I can cut the cooking process down.

The cast iron diffuses the heat faster and more evenly. The enamel does not absorb any of the flavors, easier to clean too.

corn chowder top view blue bowl

How do you prepare corn for chowder?

Preparing fresh ears of corn for chowder requires a careful approach to maximize the best flavor and texture. Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Shucking the Corn: Hold the ear of corn at the top and pull down the husks and silk. This can be a bit messy, so doing it over a trash can or compost bin is a good idea.
  2. Cleaning the Corn: Brush the corn gently with a vegetable brush to remove any lingering strands of silk. Rinse under cold water.
  3. Cutting the Corn: Stand an ear of corn, stem end down, in a large bowl. With a sharp knife, cut downward, removing the kernels from the cob. 
  4. Getting the “Milk”: After cutting the kernels, use the back of your knife and run it down the length of the cob to “milk” it – this will remove the remaining corn and the sweet milk, which adds lots of flavor to your chowder. 
  5. Cooking the Corn: If you are grilling the corn, brush the ears with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until charred on all sides. This step will give your chowder an added smoky flavor.

Remember, the fresher the corn, the better your chowder will taste.

Recipe tips 

If you decide to go the grilled corn on the cob way, gently remove all the filaments around the cob. Using a sharp knife remove all the kernels from the center core.

With the thick side of your knife, the spine, scrape the remainder of the corn into the bowl.

Do not toss the center core, but slice it into a couple of pieces. I used two cobs and added them to the saucepan stock. This small step will add more depth and sweet corn flavor to your soup, and it is also a bit starchy.

Of course, remove and toss them once the soup is ready and you move on to the blender’s next step.

This soup is gluten-free, and you can also make it vegetarian by eliminating the bacon and cream and using vegetable stock instead.

Optional: If you choose to puree the corn chowder soup fully, keep a few kernels aside to add back to the soup bowls when serving.

corn chowder

Equipment Needed

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Heavy bottom saucepan

Slotted spoon

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Blender

Laddle

Soup bowls

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02/19/2024 04:00 am GMT

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to make this excellent corn chowder

  1. Heat your heavy-bottom saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook the bacon in olive oil until it’s crisp. Once done, take out the crispy bacon and keep it aside.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium. Cook the onion until it turns translucent. This should take around 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add potatoes, corn kernels, lime juice, and white wine. Stir until the wine reduces. Then add the chicken stock, bay leaf, and corn cob (if you use one). Let it boil, and then let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. The corn and potatoes should be tender by now. Remove the corn cob and bay leaf.
  4. Check the taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Keep a cup of kernels and cooked potatoes aside, and use an immersion blender to blend the rest of the soup.
  5. Add half and half to the pan and stir on medium-low heat. Reheat the bacon.
  6. Pour the soup into a bowl. Add the saved kernels to each bowl and garnish with bacon.

What is the difference between soup and chowder?

The distinction between soup and chowder lies primarily in the texture and the ingredients used. Traditional soups usually have a relatively thin consistency and consist of almost any ingredients mixed in a liquid, usually stock, juice, water, or cream. 

On the other hand, chowders are a more hearty soup known for their rich, creamy texture and are often filled with chunky ingredients.

Originating from the northeastern United States, the typical chowder contains seafood, potatoes, and onions, although variations like corn chowder have gained popularity.

In essence, while all chowders are soups, not all soups can be classified as chowders.

corn chowder

Substitutes and additions

  • You can leave all the ingredients as they are and not blend them into a puree. Or leave half whole and combine the other half. This is up to you how you like the texture of your soup. Ensure you remove the corn cobs and bay leaf before blending or serving.
  • Add some jalapeno sliced or diced to bring on the heat.
  • Add a handful of grated sharp cheddar cheese to each bowl at serving.
  • Wine adds as little or more than I did. Taste as you go along.
  • Add diced chicken breasts for a chunky texture chicken corn chowder
  • Make some excellent garlic crostini, Frech bread that you toast, and grate garlic on one side and lightly sprinkle some olive oil over it.
corn chowder

Storage

Properly stored, you can enjoy it for several days after the initial preparation.

Begin by allowing the chowder to cool thoroughly; condensation may form in the storage container and thin out the soup if it’s too hot.

Once cooled, transfer the chowder into an airtight container, leaving a bit of space at the top to allow for expansion.

Refrigerate promptly — soups should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. The leftover chowder can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

For more extended storage, you can freeze the chowder.

Freezing may alter the creaminess and texture of the soup slightly, but it will still be delicious.

When you’re ready to reheat the chowder, do so over medium heat on the stove, stirring regularly to avoid separation or curdling.

As always, heat it to a temperature of at least 165°F for food safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned corn for this chowder recipe?

Yes, you can use canned corn in a pinch, but the depth of flavor won’t be as vibrant as fresh summer corn. If you’re using canned corn, you’ll need about 4 to 5 cups for this great recipe. Don’t forget to drain the corn before adding it to the soup.

Is corn chowder soup healthy?

Corn chowder can be a healthy choice depending on the ingredients you use. It’s packed with vegetables and can be made with low-fat dairy to reduce the calorie count. For a healthier version, you may also choose to use lean bacon or omit it altogether.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Absolutely, to make this easy vegan corn chowder recipe, you can substitute the bacon for a vegan alternative or leave it out. Use a vegan butter substitute for cooking, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and a non-dairy milk or cream alternative.

How can I thicken my corn chowder?

If your corn chowder is too thin, you can thicken it by making a cornstarch slurry. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water, then slowly pour it into the soup while stirring. You can also blend a portion of the soup and mix it back in for a thicker consistency.

corn chowder

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Corn Chowder

5 from 4 votes
Corn Chowder
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
 The corn's intense sweetness comes out beautifully and lingers with you. The recipe stated 45 minutes, but if you are using frozen corn, it will take only 30 minutes.

Ingredients 

  • 6 corn ears, grilled with husks on until nicely charred, removed from the cob with a sharp knife or, 2 pounds frozen
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 bacon, sliced into slivers
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and core end removed
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lime, squeezed
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup half and half

Instructions

  • In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon with the olive oil until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the potatoes, corn kernels, lime juice, and white wine. Stir until the wine is reduced. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, the reserved corn cob if using, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until the corn and the potatoes are tender stirring occasionally. Remove the corn cob, bay leave and toss them.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Add the soup in batches, if need be, to a blender saving a cup of kernels and potatoes for later. Puree and transfer back into the saucepan.
  • Add the half and half stir well over medium-low heat. Warm up the bacon.
  • Place the soup into a bowl, add some of the kernels that you set aside to each bowl and sprinkle some of the bacon over it.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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