Summer Corn Chowdah (Chowder)

During Summer, I love corn chowder. Corn is one of the symbols of Summer to me. Corn is one of my favorite vegetables to grill. I finish the grilled corn with a cilantro lime compound butter on as soon as it comes off the grill. It has been rather hot here in California the past few weeks (I may have mentioned this a time or two). I have been hoping it would cool down just enough to make corn chowder. This chowder is slightly rich and velvety with the pop of fresh corn kernels. What could say summer more than this?

Fresh Corn
I have been making this chowder for several years. It is also amazing at the turn of summer to autumn. I like to garnish it with bacon bits, some cheddar cheese, and chives.

Summer Corn Chowder

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 ears of fresh corn (reserve kernels for soup and halved cobs for steeping the milk) (approximately 4 cups of kernels)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half coins
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups of water (I split 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 of water)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dash or two of Tabasco sauce* (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper * (optional)

Garnish Options

  • Chives, finely chopped
  • Shredded cheese of your choice
  • Bacon bits
  • Fresh corn kernels
  • Fresh jalapenos, sliced
  • a hearty slice of a french baguette

Place milk and halved corn cobs into a heavy bottom pot. Bring the milk and corn cobs to a boil, turn off stove, cover and allow corn and milk to steep and mise en place the rest of your veggies.

Corn Cobs and Milk simmering
In a large 3.5 quart soup pan at medium high heat, melt butter. Add onion then sprinkle with some kosher salt, and saute until translucent. This should take about 5 minutes, but do not let your onions brown. Add carrots and celery to pan, stir frequently and cook until vegetables are soft approximately 10 minutes. Turn down the temperature and add the garlic. Do not cook the garlic too long as the high heat may burn or sour your garlic. Give it a quick stir until it is slightly fragrant and then immediately add in the chicken stock-water combination (or water, vegetable stock, broth – your choice), herb sprigs, and bay leaves. Strain the corn cob steeped milk into your soup pan and discard the corn cobs. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cover partially and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 20 minutes.

Mise en place – Corn Chowder
Now discard bay leaves and remove herb sprigs. Pluck off the remaining herbs and return the herb leaves to the pan and discard woody stems. Now, if you have an immersion blender, whizz up the soup. Use caution though, it is going to be hot. You can do this in a blender, in portions. Keep in mind the heat will pop the top off of your blender so only fill the blender about half full. You may wish to allow it to cool slightly. I really love my immersion blender for this purpose. No waiting! I whizz this through about 2-3 times.


Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. You may wish to add a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper and/or Tabasco sauce. Return pan to heat and add your uncooked reserved corn kernels. Cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Taste for alterations. Does it need more salt? More Pepper? I added cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, and Tabasco. Just remember to give it a good stir and taste after each inclusion. This is the best way to monitor what goes in that you cannot take out! Please note, that when I add Tabasco or cayenne. It is not necessarily to make this inedible because it is too fiery hot. It is just to give it a depth, another layer of flavor that it will not have without it. Taste it, you’ll see. Of course, go crazy and make this as spicy as you wish. The choice is yours.

To make this soup a little heartier, the addition of shredded rotisserie chicken would really make this into a main dish.

Hearty Corn Chowder with lots of Corn Kernels
Now, I do not have my final presentation bowl to show as I made this to take to my besties house tonight for Pimm’s Cups, cucumber tea sandwiches, and Corn Chowder night. We are also busting out the pétanque set. I will be topping my chowder with shredded cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon bits. Stay tuned. I may just update it with the final presentation photo.

Have a wonderful Canada Day or Happy Fourth of July! Either way, this soup should definitely be a part of your celebration.







2 thoughts on “Summer Corn Chowdah (Chowder)

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