Wonderfully rich and creamy, this corn chowder is slightly “lightened up”, yet chock-full of fresh sweet corn, diced potatoes, red bell pepper, and a touch of spice for a bit of kick!
Corn Chowder, a Creamy Bowl of Coziness
In our household, we don't take any breaks from enjoying hearty and nutritious soups in the warmer months.
As a matter of fact, I make a lot of soups during this time of year.
Soups are quick-cooking, convenient, and the perfect one-pot meal when something hearty and filling yet still fairly light is what we're hungry for.
Because I really love to add lots of vegetables to my soup pot whenever whip up a tasty homemade soup recipe, I tend to favor those veggies that happen to be “in season” and plentiful during the particular time of year that I find myself in.
And because corn is one of those ingredients that is beautifully abundant at the moment, and quite sweet and crisp, preparing a comforting corn chowder is just the perfect thing!
Filled with fresh corn, little chunks of diced potatoes, finely diced red bell pepper and a little bit of spice for a touch of extra flavor and “heat”, a bowl of corn chowder is definitely my idea of coziness in a bowl, and the perfect companion.
And here's a wonderful little charm about corn chowder: it can easily be modified to be on the lighter side!
Corn Chowder on the Lighter Side
While many recipes have whole milk or cream as a base for a corn chowder recipe, I like to go a bit "lighter" when I prepare mine.
While I do still add in some dairy to my corn chowder recipe, by way of a splash of half and half or cream at the end (for a little touch of something “velvety”), I actually like to use chicken broth (or even vegetable broth to go completely vegetarian) as my “base” liquid instead.
I still prepare a roux to use as a thickener (a mixture of equal parts butter and flour cooked together); but I add my chicken broth to that roux instead of a heavy cream or whole milk.
The results are incredibly velvety and creamy without being too heavy—the perfect combo!
How to Make Corn Chowder
There are only a few steps to making delicious homemade corn chowder from scratch, filled with sweet seasonal corn kernels, and a handful of other delicious ingredients, so flavorful and filling.
- If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the ears and set aside in a bowl; peel and dice your potatoes, your red bell pepper and your onion, and have all of your ingredients ready.
- To a medium-large soup pot, add in your butter; once melted, add in your onion and red bell pepper, and saute those in the melted butter for a few minutes until slightly softened; add in your garlic and your seasoning/spices, and stir those in.
- Sprinkle in your flour and whisk that in to incorporate, and cook for a minute or so just to cook out that raw flour taste.
- Pour in your your chicken or vegetable broth, whisking all the while to avoid lumps from forming with the flour.
- Add in your corn kernels and potatoes and bring to a vigorous simmer; then, reduce heat, cover the pot with the lid askew, and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in a little half and half (or even cream, if you'd like) for a creamy touch.
- Finish with some chopped fresh green onion, and serve garnished with a few fresh corn kernels and cilantro leaves.
This velvety and cozy corn chowder is spectacular served with corn bread or biscuits, and you can even sprinkle in some cheddar cheese!
Tips & Tidbits for Corn Chowder:
- Fresh corn or frozen/canned, your choice: Because corn is so fresh and sweet this time of year, I can't help but use it—it provides so much good flavor in this chowder! But when fresh corn is not as readily available, or if you'd prefer a bit of a short-cut, feel free to use good quality frozen or canned corn instead.
- Chicken or veggie broth: I like to use chicken broth in most of my soup recipes, even if they do not contain any meat. But if you'd like to make this corn chowder completely vegetarian, opt for veggie stock!
- Russet potatoes for extra thickening: I love waxy potatoes, and those can absolutely be used in this recipe. But I opt for russet potatoes for chowders since they have more starch and this provides a little extra thickening power to the soup.
- Other tasty add-ins: If you'd like to add more color to your corn chowder, you can always add in some finely diced carrots and celery, or even peas. Or, you can opt to add in some sharp cheddar as a finishing touch—delicious!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
• 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
• ½ medium onion, finely diced
• ½ cup red bell pepper (about ½ of a large pepper), finely minced
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• ¼ (heaping) teaspoon coriander
• ¼ (heaping) teaspoon smoked paprika
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• Pinch black pepper
• Pinch white pepper
• 3 ounces all-purpose flour (this is roughly 11 tablespoons)
• 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
• 1 ½ cups peeled and diced russet potato (about 1 ½ small potatoes)
• 4 cups, plus ¼ cup, fresh corn kernels, divided use (from about 5 ears)
• ½ cup cream or half and half
• 2 green onions, finely sliced
• Cilantro leaves, for garnish
-Place a medium-large soup pot over medium-high heat, and add in the butter; once melted, add in the onion and the red bell pepper, and stir those in to soften for a few minutes.
-Add in the garlic along with the coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne, black and white peppers, and stir to combine; once aromatic, add in the flour and stir that in until it becomes paste-like, about 30 seconds.
-Add in the chicken stock, whisking all the while to avoid lumps from forming until smooth and blended.
-Add in the potatoes and the 4 cups of corn kernels, bring the soup to a vigorous simmer, then cover and allow it to gently simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
-Remove from heat and stir in the cream or the half and half, and then stir in about half of the chopped green onion.
-Serve garnished with a small sprinkle of the remaining ¼ cup of fresh corn kernels, some green onion, and some cilantro leaves. (You can even sprinkle in some cheese, if you desire!)