This corn chowder recipe with cream and fresh corn is perfect for early fall when there is still lots of seasonal produce available. It has tons of flavor and is a crowd pleaser.
I made this soup for the first time as a newlywed from an old issue of the magazine Cook’s Country. (Does it still exist? It was good.) I was trying to impress my mother in law. I had two things going for me that I thought would impress her. First, I was cooking a soup, from scratch, for lunch. Second, I had grown the corn in my own garden.
The only problem was that it was July when my corn was ready, so it was approximately 100 degrees outside and no one wanted soup. Also, my “impressive” corn was puny little ears that no one had any right to be proud of.
I undercooked all the vegetables and she attempted to be kind by pronouncing the soup “crispy.” Sigh.
My version is simplified a bit from that fussy version I tried long ago, uses up lots of fresh vegetables, and is very welcome at any type of get together. But preferably not when it is 100 degrees.
How do you thicken corn chowder?
Many chowder recipes are thickened with flour, or with a roux. This one is not. I find that boiling the potatoes in the chicken broth and adding cream thickens the soup plenty. If you are a chowder purist, perhaps you will object.
Anything with cream tends to freeze poorly. But frozen corn makes very good corn chowder. This recipe is quick to make once the veggies are prepped, so there is really no need to make it ahead of time and then freeze it.
If you really wanted to, you could freeze it without the cream, then add the cream just before serving.
Making the chowder, step by step
Removing the corn from the cob can be tedious. Make sure you use a very sharp or serrated knife (a bread knife works well), and work over a container to collect the kernels. I use a 9×13 pan.
When all the vegetables are chopped, you cook the bacon and then the veggies right in the pot. The corn will not look visibility different, but the onions will become translucent.
The next step is to add the chicken broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover the pot back up and cook until the potatoes are tender. Make sure to test them with a fork to make sure they are cooked through.
Add the cream last, make sure everything is heated through, and check for seasonings. I tend to add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper at the end.
Serve right away or keep warm on the stove until you’re ready to eat. Refrigerate any leftovers.
📖 Print the recipe here
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Corn Chowder with Fresh Corn
- 8 ears fresh corn raw and cut off the cob
- 1 qt chicken broth or stock
- 6 slices bacon finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely choped
- 1 medium green pepper finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt plus additional, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus additional, to taste
- 1 lb. red potatoes scrubbed and diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add the corn kernels, diced onion, diced pepper, and salt and black pepper to the bacon fat. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes, until onions and peppers are soft.
- Add the diced potatoes and chicken broth. Bring pot to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to simmer, and allow potatoes to cook, about 15 minutes. Poke with a fork to make sure they are tender. Add the cream and the cooked bacon, heat over medium until heated through.
- Test for seasonings and add more salt and pepper as desired.
What to serve with this recipe:
Any bread is a good complement, but especially these honey wheat dinner rolls.
Fresh fruit balances a rich soup.
And finally, pumpkin sheet cake helps the meal feel like fall.