This Easy Corn Chowder Recipe is chock-full of deliciousness and uses fresh corn, onion, bacon, potatoes, and cream to give it a luscious, creamy texture. Summer in a bowl!
Chowder. It’s something I think of when I think of fall. Or New England. Or Seattle, where we had some of the best clam chowders ever at Pike Place Market. But chowder in the summer? It never really crossed my mind – until now.
Making soup in 90-degree heat may not exactly be your ideal summer meal, but this corn chowder does not disappoint and is such a great way to utilize some of the delicious sweet corn that’s in abundance this time of year.
I came across this recipe totally by accident – I was leafing through old Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines that have been lovingly stuffed in with all my other cookbooks for the past several years trying to find a specific recipe. As I was thumbing through the pages, I stumbled upon this recipe for summer corn chowder and thought - sure, I’ll give it a shot.
Are you familiar with Cooks Illustrated or Cooks Country? They’re basically the magazine for America’s Test Kitchen, and they literally test hundreds of combinations and techniques for every recipe until they get it just right.
While Cooks Illustrated recipes tend to be a bit more in-depth or complicated, Cooks Country recipes are relatively simple. If you’re looking for a no-fail recipe, they’re definitely a great place to find it.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
Corn chowder is the best soup for hot weather because it just tastes like summer. The sweet corn mixed with the spices and cream then topped off with fresh summer garnishes like chives, and parsley – seriously yummy. And, while this is hearty enough to be your main dish, it's not too heavy for those warm summer evenings.
It comes together quickly and uses basic ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand. Here's what you'll need.
- Corn. This recipe uses both canned corn, which you'll puree as a base, plus real corn kernels stripped straight from the cobs. Pureeing the canned corn helps to naturally thicken the soup and lets the flavor of corn really shine.
- Chicken broth. You can also sub this out for vegetable broth if you prefer.
- Bacon. This adds so much flavor and an extra dimension to the soup!
- Potatoes. You can't make chowder without potatoes! I used red potatoes here, unpeeled, but you could also sub in Yukon gold or Russet. If you use Russet potatoes, be sure to peel them as the skin is rather rough.
- Onion and scallions.
- Heavy cream. This gives the chowder a bit more heft and lends a very creamy texture when cooked with potatoes and pureed corn.
- Seasonings. Salt and pepper are pretty standard, but you can also add more delicious seasonings like parsley and chives.
An Easy Way To Make Corn Stock
Many recipes call for preparing corn soup with a corn stock, which is made by boiling the husks in a mixture of water, onions, milk or cream, and other spices, depending on your recipe. This corn chowder recipe simplifies that process by throwing the husks directly into the soup, then discarding them later. Such a time saver and still so good!
How To Make Corn Chowder
As with many of the recipes I post here, this one can easily be made on a weeknight. It's a light dish to serve on a warm summer evening.
- Start by cutting the corn off the ears, but save the husks for making the stock.
- Puree the canned corn and your vegetable broth in a blender until smooth.
- Slice the bacon and cook it in a large pot on the stove until crispy, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In the same pot, without draining the bacon fat, sautee your onion, and corn kernels, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the corn and onions are soft and golden brown, add the potatoes, pureed corn, the remaining broth, and the cobs to your pot and bring everything to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the corn chowder for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Remove the corn husks. Then stir in the cream, scallions, and bacon.
- Add toppings, if desired, and serve immediately.
Toppings For Corn Chowder
This easy corn chowder recipe is so delicious, but you can amp up or change the flavor by adding different ingredients. Try any of these for a variation on this classic recipe.
- Poblano Peppers
If you try this Easy Corn Chowder Recipe, let me know what you think in the comments. And don't forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations!
More Cozy Soup Recipes
- One-Pot Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Easy Split Pea Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Easy Corn Chowder Recipe
- 6 ears corn
- 2 15 oz cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ⅛ cup chives, chopped
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- Prep your corn. Cut the kernels from the ears of corn, and set aside the kernels and husks separately.
- Puree the canned corn and 2 cups of broth in a blender until smooth.
- Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve it for later. Don’t drain the bacon fat!
- Cook onion, corn kernels, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in the bacon fat until soft and golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, corn puree, remaining broth, and cobs to your pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. (Note: Many recipes call for preparing corn soup with a corn stock, which is made from boiling the husks in a mixture of water, onions, and other spices, depending on your recipe. This recipe simplifies that process by throwing the husks directly into the soup, then discarding them later.)
- Discard the corn husks and stir in the cream, scallions, chives, parsley and reserved bacon.
- Serve and enjoy!