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Corn Chowder


Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Photo © Molly Watson
Simple yet satisfying, this corn chowder makes the most of sweet, fresh, summer corn. The recipe includes optional instructions for thickening the soup with flour, but I like it thinner and lighter for summer, letting the slightly crunchy corn shine through.

Any potatoes work well in this recipe, but the extra flavor of Yukon Golds or Yellow Finns are particularly tasty. In summer look for small potatoes that can be made into bite-size pieces by cutting them into quarters or eighths.

As with all soups, homemade broth will make this one extra delicious.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flour (optional)
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. potatoes, peeled it you like and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half


  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat renders from it. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, if you like, and cook, stirring, until the flour is coated and smells cooked (you should get a whiff of baked pie crust), 2 to 3 minutes.
  • If you used flour, add 1 cup of the broth and whisk until smooth. In any case, then add the remaining broth and potatoes. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, shuck the corn and use a sharp paring knife to cut the kernels from the cobs of corn (do this in a large bowl to contain the kernels as they fall from the cob). Cut just the kernels, not the tough cob to which they are attached. Better to miss some of the kernel than to include some of the cob in the soup! In the same bowl, grate the kernels off the remaining cob using a large-holed grater. This will create some "corn milk" and add to the texture of the soup.
  • Add the corn kernels and grated corn to the soup. Cook until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 tsp. thyme and cream. Cook until heated through. Serve hot or warm, garnished with the remaining thyme, if you like.

Makes 4 servings Corn Chowder.

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