This Easy Corn Chowder Is Comfort In A Bowl

A warm bowl of fresh corn chowder is about as close to comfort embodied as you can get. It's just the right blend of sweet, savory, and salty, it can be dressed up into a meal in a bowl with all sorts of toppings or left simple and sipped from a mug, and it's a great way to get even picky eaters to eat their veggies, too. And when corn is fresh and plentiful in the late summer and early fall, it's an unbeatable side or starter.

But hey, don't worry if it's the depths of winter and corn is out of season (or if you just really don't want to make the trek to the store or farmer's market, season notwithstanding), as "this healthy, sweet, and rich corn chowder can be made with frozen corn" says chef and food writer Maren Epstein of Eating Works. Just note that a standard ear of corn yields about three quarters of a cup of kernels if you're going the frozen or even the canned corn route.

This easy-to-follow recipe will yield a delicious soup with servings for six, but don't be afraid to put your own spins on it. You can go vegan by using substitutes for the butter and milk, make a chicken and corn chowder by adding cooked and chopped poultry, and of course, you can always dial up the spiciness, too.

Gather your ingredients for this corn chowder recipe

Remembering that flexibility re: canned or frozen corn and the vegetarian (or even vegan) approaches you can take here, you'll need just a few ingredients for a standard, superlative corn chowder, plus a lovely garnish. (And yes, you probably do have most or all of these ingredients on hand!)

You'll need two to three tablespoons of butter, one yellow or white onion, a half teaspoon of sea salt, two cloves of garlic, five ears of fresh corn, kernels chopped and cobs reserved (or about three and three quarters cups of corn kernels as a stand-in for fresh), four medium Yukon Gold potatoes, two celery stalks, a quarter-cup of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of paprika, two teaspoons of cumin, four cups of vegetable stock, two cups of milk, and plenty of finely chopped scallions as a garnish.

Begin cooking the veggies for your corn chowder

Dice your onion, peel and cube the potatoes, chop the celery stalks, and cut the corn kernels off the cobs, but don't toss the cobs out. Once the vegetables for this corn chowder recipe are prepped, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.

Once the butter melts, add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion begins to turn translucent, stirring occasionally. In the last minute of cooking the onions (just as they begin to caramelize), add the garlic and sauté until the garlic grows fragrant, which will take about one minute.

Now add the corn, potatoes, celery, paprika and cumin. Sauté everything for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the flour, stir, and cook for one minute.

Add cobs and stock and simmer your corn chowder

After you have cooked all the veggies in the melted butter for ten minutes, place the corn cobs in the pot with care so that they will be fully covered (or as much as possible) once you pour in your stock. Now go ahead and pour in those four cups of vegetable stock. 

Bring the soup to a boil, and once it hits that rolling boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the corn chowder to cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Add milk to your corn chowder and blend it up

After 20 minutes, everything in that pot should be nice and tender, and your kitchen (or whole home) should be filled with tempting aromas. Cut the heat and carefully remove the corn cobs (use tongs, people) and discard them, and then it's time to add the milk. Do so and stir, but don't worry too much — the blender will handle the mixing nicely.

If you have a hand blender, use it. If not, remember to never fill a blender more than half-way with hot soup, and use a towel to cover the lid while you blend. Transfer the soup to your blender in batches if need be.

Once your corn chowder is all blended up, get that delicious concoction in bowls and served up ASAP, topped with the chopped scallions and whatever else you'd like. (Fresh black pepper, diced tomatoes, croutons, and crushed corn chips all go great with this recipe.)

This Easy Corn Chowder Is Comfort In A Bowl
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This delicious and easy-to-follow corn chowder recipe will yield a delicious soup with servings for six, but don't be afraid to put your own spins on it.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
6
cups
corn chowder being served
Ready in 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
  • 5 ears corn, kernels chopped and cobbs reserved
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Directions
  1. In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until translucent. In the last minute of cooking the onions, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (1 minute).
  2. Add the corn, potatoes, celery, paprika, and cumin. Sauté for 10 minutes (until the vegetables start to soften). Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and corn cobs. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer and allow to cook partially covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Add milk and transfer to a blender. Enjoy.
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