Corn Chowder

A lightened up soup to highlight fresh summer corn
1 hour 10 minutes Total Time
50 minutes to prep
20 minutes to cook
6 servings
Most chowders contain dairy, but I make this without any milk or cream so the corn flavor is strong. The technique of "milking" the corn comes from Cook's Illustrated and gives the soup even more corn flavor. I love to make this in September or October when I can still get good corn, but it is not too hot to make soup. This is not a recipe for frozen corn or even grocery store corn on the cob. It is not a quick recipe, so if you are going to the trouble to cut the corn kernels off yourself and scrape the corn, you want to make sure you have fresh corn from a stand or farmer's market.
Do not add the corn juice until the end to preserve the corn flavor. This can be made gluten-free by using corn flour or corn starch. If using corn starch, skip the browning step of the flour. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with some cold water in a small bowl and add to the soup towards the end of cooking. If you want it to be thicker, repeat this step with some more cornstarch. If you have corn flour, you can just replace regular flour with corn flour and proceed as directed.



  • Gather and prep ingredients.
    Step 0
  • Cut the kernels off the corn with a chef's knife or corn stripper. Do not cut too close to the cob, where the corn has more fibers.
    Step 1
  • Stand each cob inside of the largest bowl you own. Take the blunt side of a butter knife and run the knife down all sides of the cobs to get as much corn juice and pulp that you can. This step can be messy, so a bowl with taller sides can contain flying kernels.
    Step 2
  • Transfer the pulp to a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press on the pulp to squeeze as much juice as you can. Save the corn juice for the last step of preparing the soup. I like to let the kernels sit longer while the soup is cooking. Then I make another pass at extracting more juice. Discard the pulp in the strainer when you have extracted all the juice you can.
    Step 3
  • Melt butter in a large pan. Add the onion, thyme, chopped bacon, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat until onion is soft and bacon is cooked through.
    Step 4
  • Add flour to pan. Stir for about 2 minutes .
    Step 5
  • Add water slowly while whisking. Whisk away any lumps. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    Step 6
  • Add corn and potatoes. Reduce heat to a simmer over lower heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
    Step 7
  • If you have a stick blender, blend for about 1 minute to thicken the soup. You still want the soup to have corn kernels and chunks of potatoes, so do not blend it smooth. If you do not have a stick blender, you can blend 2 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth.
    Step 8
  • Remove soup from heat. If you used a blender, return blended soup to the pan. Add the reserved corn juice to soup and stir to combine.
    Step 9
  • Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated on the stove.
    Step 10

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