Corn Chowder

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This easy, simple corn chowder recipe gets flavorful creaminess from pureed corn.

Corn Chowder
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Yield:
4 servings

A bowl of corn chowder is satisfying in the height of fresh corn season in summer, or in the depths of winter, when a bowl of chowder is just what you need to warm yourself up. This quick and easy soup recipe highlights the taste of sweet summer corn, but since the vegetable is available virtually all the time, you can (and should) make this chowder year-round. Fresh corn offers the best flavor here, but use frozen corn if that is what is available. If you like, freeze corn at the end of summer so you have it available for this recipe in winter. Cut the kernels off the cobs and freeze them separately. Let the cobs simmer in the broth while the chowder cooks, to give it an extra boost of corn flavor. Remove and discard the cobs when you are ready to serve. Pureeing some of the corn kernels to stir into the simmering soup helps thicken it while deepening the corn flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops chopped and reserved separately

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1 pound (about 3) boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 6 to 8 ears), divided

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 (quart) can low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over moderately low heat. Add scallion bulbs, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in potatoes, 2 cups corn, bay leaf, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

  3. In a blender or food processor, puree remaining 2 cups corn with milk.

  4. Stir puree into soup along with black pepper. Simmer until soup thickens slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Remove bay leaf. Stir in scallion greens. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if using.

    Corn Chowder
    Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Notes

Frozen Corn Variation: If you want to use frozen corn, puree two cups of it with the milk as directed above, and add the remaining two cups to the soup along with the puree. Since the corn is already cooked, it might toughen if it goes in earlier. You can add a pinch of sugar as well if you like.

Suggested Pairing

Chardonnay seems to have an affinity for corn; perhaps it is the sweet buttery flavors that complement each other so well. For the best effect with this chowder, pick a rich, full-bodied example from southeastern Australia.

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