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Published August 14, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Learn how to make a delicious Corn Chowder Recipe for your next meal that comes together in under an hour. Serve it up with crispy bacon and green onions.
Corn Chowder is a tasty soup that should be made and eaten during the summer which is the peak season for fresh corn. You can definitely buy frozen corn kernels and make this soup but you’ll be missing out on the sweetness and ripeness that only fresh corn off the cob can deliver.
Now I don’t want to complain about the summer weather cause I’ll take it all day every day, but man I wish corn was in season in the winter so I could make this soup to heat me up. The problem is though, it’s summer and corn is fresh now so why not do as much with it as possible, which includes soup on a hot day. After you taste this you will forget all about the 90° heat it’s that good. Simple ingredients and bold flavors’ is what I’m about and this soup speaks perfectly to that!
Corn chowder is a tasty thick soup that uses stock and cream as the base and is simmered with other vegetables such as potatoes, celery, and onions, to make it a rich stew. Traditionally chowders include things like fish, clams, and seafood, however, we are taking those same methods and applying it to fresh corn off the cob.
CHEF NOTE: If you are a chowder freak, then my New England Clam Chowder recipe is a must-make!
Selecting Fresh Corn
When selecting fresh corn on the cob, it’s important to remember a few notes before picking and buying it.
- The outer husk should be firm
- The top part of the husk where all the silk is ( that’s the long stringy stuff) should be a little moist
- There should be no blemishes on the outside
To also ensure the corn is ripe and in season shuck the very top part of the corn by pulling it apart exposing the top of the corn cob. If the corn kernels are bright yellow, firm, intact and full on the cob then you are good to go.
How to Make Corn Chowder
- Add some corn in the husk onto a sheet tray and back in the oven at 425° for about 25 minutes
- In the meantime, render the bacon fat in a large pot until crispy brown. Set the lardons aside once cooked.
- Add the onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to the rendered bacon fat and cook until browned over medium heat, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Deglaze with the cream sherry and cook it until it has been absorbed and only a small amount remains. The technical term for this is au sec, which means almost gone.
- Now, remove the corn from the oven and cool slightly before shucking and trim the kernels off of the cob and add them to the pot with sautéed vegetables along with the potatoes
- Pour in the stock, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
- While the soup is coming to a boil, we need to thicken it and you can make a blond roux by cooking equal parts weight flour and butter in a sauté pan over low heat until combined. A roux is a thickening agent used in cooking and commonly used in chowders. It provides thickness and body to the soup. The easier way though is to make a slurry using equal parts corn starch and cold water mixed together.
- Whisk the slurry or roux into the soup until it becomes very thick, as a chowder should be, and cook it for a few more minutes over medium-low heat. The technical term is called nappe which means the soup can coat the bacon of a spoon.
- Whisk in ½ and 1/2 and back in the crispy bacon lardons along with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco sauce.
Can You Make It in a Slow Cooker
You can definitely make corn chowder in a slow cooker and you would do it just about the same way, except for a few nuances. I’ll post them below the recipe in the notes for you.
To change up this corn chowder you can absolutely add in cooked chicken to make a chicken corn chowder or crab meat to make a delicious crab corn chowder recipe. A few other options include:
- Ham and Potato
- Sweet Potato
For any of these variations, this soup recipe stays the same and you will simply add in the extra cooked ingredient to modify the chowder to your likings such as cooked ham, sausage, lobster, crab or chicken. For vegetables, add them in when adding in the corn like poblano or sweet potato.
Making Corn Chowder Thick
In this corn chowder recipe I made it very classically using a blond roux, however, if you want to back away from the flour here are a few other ways to make your corn chowder thick.
- Using an immersion blender, blend some of the ingredients together before adding in any thickening agent to naturally make the soup thick.
- Use arrowroot or corn starch and water to help thicken.
- Cook and mash the potatoes before whisking into the chowder before the roux is added as well.
How to Serve it
I like to add a few garnishes on top of the corn chowder to help add some flavor such as the cooked bacon lardons and sliced green onions. You could also add some sauteed corn on top as well. Here are a few things that would go well with the chowder.
Make-Ahead and Storage
How to Reheat: If you plan on eating this soup for a few days you are going to need to reheat it. To do this add the desired amount of soup you plan to eat to a small size saucepot over low heat until it reaches 165°. The soup may need to be re-seasoned with salt and pepper as well as re thickened.
If the soup does need to be re-thickened, add a small amount of slurry to it once it reaches 165°. A slurry is equal parts volume corn starch mixed with water until combined.
How to Store: This corn chowder can be stored covered in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. In addition, it can be frozen covered in a plastic container for up to 2 months. After thawing it can be reheated as described above.
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Easy Corn Chowder Recipe
- 10 slices of chopped bacon
- 1 peeled and small diced sweet onion
- 4 small diced stalks of celery
- 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of cream sherry
- 8 ears of corn
- 10 each large diced red potatoes
- 80 ounces chicken stock
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Tabasco to taste
- Lea & Perrins to taste
- fresh sliced green for garnish
- Add some corn in the husk onto a sheet tray and back in the oven at 425° for about25 minutes
- In a large hot pot on high heat render the bacon fat and cook the bacon until it becomes crispy. Once it is cooked, remove the bacon from the pan turn down the heat to medium and add in the onions, celery, peppers, and garlic and sweat over low heat for 10-15 minutes
- Deglaze with the cream sherry and cook until it becomes absorbed and only a small amount remains. The technical term for this is au sec, whichmeans almost gone.
- Now,remove the corn from the oven and cool slightly before shucking and trim thekernels off of the cob and add them to the pot with sautéed vegetables alongwith the potatoes
- Pour in the stock, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water and then whisk the slurry or roux into the soup until it becomes very thick, as a chowdershould be, and cook it for a few more minutes over medium-low heat. Thetechnical term is called nappe which means the soup can coat the bacon of aspoon.
- Whisk in ½ and 1/2 and add back in the crispy bacon lardons along with salt, pepper,Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco sauce.
- Adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Lea & Perrins and garnish with the green onions and crispy bacon lardons
- To also ensure the corn is ripe and in season shuck the very top part of the corn by pulling it apart exposing the top of the corn cob. If the corn kernels are bright yellow, firm, in tact and full on the cob then you are good to go.
- A roux is a thickening agent used in cooking and commonly used in chowders. It provides thickness and body to the soup.
- How to Store: This corn chowder can be stored covered in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. In addition it can be frozen covered in a plastic container for up to 2 months. After thawing it can be reheated as described above.
- Complete steps 1 through 4 in a slow cooker using the saute function.
- Next, cook the corn chowder, along with the potatoes on high heat in the slow cooker for 2 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
- Instead of using a roux to thicken the soup, use a slurry which is equal parts volume of corn starch and water a mixed together and then whisk it into the soup and cook until it becomes thick stirring every few minutes.
- Once it is thick simply set the slow cooker to warm and serve with garnishes of sliced green onions and crisp cooked bacon lardons.
Delicious! We loved it
I LOVE this soup, and have used the cream sherry trick in other soups since I found this. Top notch!
Delicious! I’m a soup lover. This was great!
Thank you Chef Billy, great alternative for when we can’t find fresh clams. Thumbs up!
Made this today, it is amazing. Made this recipe before from different chefs, but this one is the best! Thanks Billy Parisi
I made this three nights ago for our family and it was AMAZING 🙌🏻 Even our picky 12 year old food critic devoured two large bowls. My husband snuck downstairs the next night just to make sure he got the last bowl. Phenomenal!
Turned out great! Hubby said it would probably be good with the chicken in it so maybe next time.
Made this last night on the wood heater, as it was 2 degrees! Figured I may as well use that free heat! Had just picked some corn from the garden, I’m in Tasmania, and it was brilliant. Have leftovers so will throw some leftover roast chicken in for tonight’s dinner. Love the videos, really good, picking up all sorts of skills. First came across you on fb. Thanks for all your efforts, much appreciated x
This soup is outstanding, made it the first time using Moscato (no sherry on hand) and the second time as written. Both were fabulous, thanks Chef Billy!
I made this soup tonight and it was delicious. Cut up shrimp was a great addition! So flavorful and hearty. Try it and I know you won’t be disappointed!
Can you give me an idea how much corn you get off eight ears? It’s past the season for fresh, so I’d like to make this using frozen super sweet corn. Looks scrumptious.
around a 1/2 – 3/4 cup per ear depending on the size
I made this tonight .. loved that I learnt I new way to cook corn, what a slurry was and how sherry is great in chowder and bisque. Next time I need to make the potatoes a little smaller. As a person with celiac this was a great gluten free recipe for me.
Love your recipes. Thank you.
I want to prepare tomorrow. Can I use regular golden sherry. I’m only making a 1/4 quantity so I hate to go out to get a bottle of sherry.
Went to recipe first. Didn’t know what 2 cups 1/2and 1/2 ment. Until I went to your video and heard you say 1/2 and 1/2 cream . I want to thank you for all your great Recipes.