Corn Chowder

Soup and StewFavorite SummerChowderCorn

Simple corn chowder made with sweet, fresh corn, onion, carrot, celery, potatoes, red bell pepper, milk, and bacon.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

With sweet, fresh corn, still available at the local farmers market, we just couldn’t resist trying our hands at some fresh corn chowder.

The recipe is adapted from one by Mitchell Davis in Kitchen Sense and is full of flavor. The original recipe calls for a strip of bacon, but you can add a little bacon fat instead, if you have some on hand, or just add a little more butter.

Corn Chowder Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

For vegetarian option, omit the bacon and use 2 Tbsps of butter instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 strip bacon, or 1 teaspoon bacon fat
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup small diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup small diced celery
  • 4-5 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved (see steps for taking corn off the cob)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Method

1 Cook the bacon: Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon renders its fat, 3-4 minutes.

2 Add the onions, bell pepper, carrot, celery: Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery, lower the heat to medium low and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

3 Add corn cobs (stripped of corn), milk, bay leaf to pot, simmer: Break the corn cobs in half (after you've stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the "warm" setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

4 Add potatoes, salt, thyme: After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

5 Discard cobs, bacon, bay leaf, then add corn, black pepper: Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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Corn chowder

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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82 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Karie

    Really nice chowder but lacked flavor. Added 6 strips bacon (cut up into pieces and left them in). Used 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 carrot, 2 celery, 2 bay leaves, enough chicken stock cubes for the 4 1/2 C of liquid. Omitted the corn cobs and just used 2 medium cans corn. Put in a handful of thyme sprigs t and removed the stems with the bay leaves. Needs to simmer a good 30 min. to thicken up. Topped with two large butterflied, sautéed shrimp and served with cornbread. Was amazing and LOVED it! This made 4 hearty bowls so would have to double recipe to get 8 servings.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Barbara

    Delicious corn chowder! Used fresh local (MA) corn and potatoes, peppers, onions, added some scallion before serving.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Kim Wesley

    Terrific recipe. I too improvised and used half and half and 2% milk divided amounts. I will make this in summer and early fall and enjoy on the patio

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Ellen

    This was so good! The fresh corn was good and crunchy. I varied a little in that I did not have a bay leaf but also added a small fresh jalapeño pepper which had the seeds removed and cooked it with the onion. That gave it just a bit of heat! Did not have Yukon gold potatoes but Idaho worked fine. I also left out the bacon and the bacon fat and combined 2 percent milk with a cup of cream. Minor changes, but I was making use of what I had. Can’t wait to make it again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Craig

    Really good. Instead of one peice of bacon that gets left in, I cooked 2 pieces of bacon until crispy, used the fat and then crumbled the bacon to use as a topping.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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