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, green onions and fresh basil.
Corn Chowder is a tasty soup that should be made and eaten during the summer which is 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 everyday, but man I wish corn was in season in the winter so I could make this soup to heat me up. 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!
WHAT IS CORN CHOWDER
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
CHEF TIP: 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.
HOW TO MAKE CORN CHOWDER
STEP 1: Render the bacon fat in a large pot until crispy brown. Set the lardons aside once cooked.
STEP 2: Add the onions to the rendered bacon fat and cook until browned over medium heat, which takes about 15 minutes.
STEP 3: Add in the garlic, and fresh cut corn off the cob and saute for for 5 to 6 minutes getting a gentle toast on the garlic and corn.
STEP 4: Deglaze with the cream sherry and cook it until it has been absorbed and only a small amount remains. CHEF NOTE: The technical term for this is au sec, which means almost gone.
STEP 5: Pour in the stock, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
STEP 6: While the soup is coming to a boil, cook equal parts weight flour and butter in a saute pan over low heat to make a blond roux. CHEF NOTE: A roux is a thickening agent used in cooking and commonly used in chowders. It provides thickness and body to the soup.
STEP 7: Whisk some of the roux into the soup until it becomes very thick, as a chowder should be, and cook it for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. CHEF NOTE: The technical term is called nappe which means the soup can coat the bacon of a spoon.
STEP 8: Next, add in the potatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes over low heat.
STEP 9: Whisk in cream and seasonings and serve with sliced green onions and crispy bacon lardons.
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
CHEF NOTE: 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 liking 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 arrow root or corn starch and water to help thicken.
- Cook and mash the potatoes before whisking in to 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.
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 sauce pot 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°.
CHEF NOTE: A slurry is equal parts volume corn starch mixed with water until combined.
STORING AND FREEZING: 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.
*If you’re in love with this Corn Chowder Recipe then you absolutely have to check out my Fish Chowder Recipe and please be sure to drop me a comment below and a rating if you’ve had the chance to make this recipe*
Easy Corn Chowder Recipe
- 6 slices of chopped bacon
- 1 small diced sweet onion
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of cream sherry
- 8 ears of trimmed corn off of the cob
- 4 cups of medium diced red potatoes
- 2 quarts of chicken stock
- 4 ounces of unsalted butter
- 4 ounces of flour
- 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Tabasco to taste
- Lea & Perrins to taste
- fresh sliced green onions and basil for garnish
- 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 and caramelize.
- Once the onions are brown add in the garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, add in the corn and turn the heat to high and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Deglaze with the cream sherry and cook until it becomes absorbed. Once it's absorbed add in the stock and bring to a boil.
- While the soup is cooking add the butter and flour together in a pan on low heat and combine with a whisk to form a blond roux.
- When the soup begins to boil whisk in the roux until it becomes thick. Cook for 10 minutes further and finish with the heavy cream.
- Add in potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Lea & Perrins and garnish with the green onions. crispy bacon lardons and basil.
- 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.
- STORING AND FREEZING: 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.