Hearty Homemade Corn Chowder
Cozy up to a big bowl of this homemade corn chowder! Easy to make with either fresh or frozen corn, it’s a great year-round soup!
I cannot wait to get into soup season! Normally we eat soup year round, but this summer has been insanely hot. And sadly, it still is. Here is is mid-September, and we’ve only had 2 semi-cool days. I say bring on the chilly weather!
There’s not a whole lot I love more than a thick and hearty soup… actually, a chowder. Chowders are so rich and stick-to-your-ribs fantastic!
CAN YOU FREEZE CORN CHOWDER?
I love freezing soups, but due to the dairy and potatoes in this one, I don’t recommend freezing it as is. If you REALLY want to try it, here’s what I would try:
- Skip adding the half and half during step #8. Instead, add it in when reheating the soup.
- Cool soup completely, then add to freezer-safe containers and freeze 1-2 months.
- To thaw, place containers in the refrigerator overnight or until thawed completely.
- Reheat in dutch oven or soup pot and once heated through, add half and half and stir to heat. Serve as directed.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE CORN CHOWDER THICKER?
I would say this chowder is about a medium thickness, but if you’d like it thicker, there are a few options.
- Puree more of the soup in the blender, or alternatively, mash some with a potato masher.
- Before adding in the half and half, whisk a tablespoon or so of cornstarch into the half and half, then add to the soup as directed.
- Add equal parts softened butter and flour and knead together with your fingers or a wooden spoon until a thick paste has formed. Add to the finished soup and stir until the heat has melted the butter. This is called a Buerre Manie and it’s a great way to thicken sauces, soups, roasts, etc.
CAN CORN CHOWDER BE MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER?
Absolutely! I get it, some days the last thing you want to do is stand by the stove for 30 minutes. On those days, the slow cooker is my best friend! Slow cooker directions are listed below the recipe.
CAN YOU ADD CHICKEN OR CHEESE TO THIS CORN CHOWDER?
Sure can! Sometimes I add about a cup or so of shredded cheddar cheese to the soup, or add a sprinkling of cheese when serving. Chicken is also a fabulous addition! For this, I like to use shredded chicken, from leftovers or a rotisserie chicken.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CORN CHOWDER
- Ultimate Grilled Cheese
- Cheesy Garlic Crescents
- No-Knead Artisan Bread
- Simple Green Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
- Dutch Oven – My favorite soup pot!
- Immersion Blender – If you don’t have one, these are incredibly handy! No need to transfer hot soups to a blender.
- Traditional Blender – This is my favorite traditional blender!
Cozy up to a big bowl of this homemade corn chowder! Easy to make with either fresh or frozen corn, it's a great year-round soup!
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups water
- 8 ears yellow sweet corn (husks and silks removed)
- 1 lb. yukon gold or baby red potatoes , sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
- handful of chopped fresh chives
Slice corn kernels off the cob and set aside. Take each ear of corn and hold it over a bowl. Use either the back of your knife or a spoon and scrape any remaining pulp and juice from the cobs.
Cook bacon pieces in large heavy bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) over MED heat. Cook about 5-8 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
Use a clean paper towel to absorb some of the bacon grease, reserving about 1 Tbsp of grease in the pot. Add butter and melt over MED heat.
Add diced onions and cook about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add garlic and flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring often.
While whisking, pour in water and increase heat to MED-HIGH. Add in corn, potatoes, thyme, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to MED-LOW and simmer.
Simmer, stirring every so often, for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
Use an immersion blender to blend about half the soup until smooth. Alternatively, remove about 3 cups of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the blended soup back into the pot.
Add in half and half, reserved corn juice, and about half the chives. Stir in and heat through.
Serve sprinkled with remaining chives and cooked bacon pieces, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine (August 2011)
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:
- Cook bacon in skillet. Add all ingredients (except half and half and chives) to a 6 qt or larger slow cooker. Stir well, cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
- Use immersion blender to blend about half the soup (or add 3 cups of soup to a blender and puree then add back to the slow cooker).
- Stir in half and half and chives, cover and cook another 10 minutes or so to heat through.
If using frozen or canned corn, add a drizzle of honey to replace the corn "milk".
- use approximately 4 cups of frozen or canned corn (32 oz)