I don’t typically crave soup in the summer, but when I do it’s corn chowder. When I’ve eaten as much corn on the cob as I can handle but can’t seem to pass up those gorgeous ears at the farmer’s market, I get chowder on the brain. I like a corn chowder that is simultaneously creamy and light, with a hint of smoky bacon flavor and some bite left to the corn kernels. Oh, and potatoes. I love me some potatoes. It’s amazing how a hot soup can manage to be so summery.
I love the little baby hand that found it’s way into the picture of corn above! The realities of trying to blog/work with a toddler running around. Corn on the cob is one of his favorite foods at the moment, so he just couldn’t resist. Who can blame him?
I searched for a corn chowder recipe to make but didn’t find one that met all my criteria, so I went rogue and made my own. Stock flavored with the corn cobs? Check. A bacon flavor base that isn’t overpowering? Check. Most importantly, a fresh corn flavor and texture? Check. This has everything I want in a corn chowder recipe.
- 6 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 4 cups kernels)
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 slices bacon, chopped (about ¼ pound)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 pound red or new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pint half and half
- Chopped scallions (for garnish)
- Break the corn cobs in half and put in a large pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
- Remove and discard the corn cobs. Add broth and set aside.
- In a separate pot, cook the bacon until slightly crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove 2 tablespoons or so bacon and reserve for garnish.
- Add the onion and garlic to bacon and cook until soft.
- Add the corn kernels and cook for a few minutes.
- Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Stirring constantly, add the broth in a slow stream. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the potatoes and salt. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat and stir in the half and half. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste.
- If you want, use an immersion blender to blend some of the corn and potato. Get it as smooth or chunky as you like.
- Ladle into bowls and serve tops with reserved bacon bits and scallions.
You can substitute milk for half and half if you're looking for a lower fat option, it just won't be as creamy.