Corn Chowder

Homemade corn chowder is a perfect way to showcase fresh sweet corn.


2011 © copyright Savory Simple, all rights reserved

When I worked a nine to five job, I was somewhat lazy about visiting farmers markets on the weekend.  Baltimore has wonderful markets but you really have to arrive early to get the best produce options.  When my husband and I moved closer to Washington DC, I was delighted to discover a small farmers market within walking distance of our apartment.  It may not be the largest market in the area, but I can find what I need.  And now that I work unusual hours, I love arriving early to the market on Saturday and wandering through the local, seasonal goodies.

If you’re looking for a farmers market in your area, a great resource is Real Time Farms.  In addition to providing information on farms and farmers markets, they also link restaurants to specific farms, which I think is pretty cool.

Right now is such a great time to buy corn.  Because this is the peak season, it’s cheap and full of flavor.  I love adding it to salads or mixing it with quinoa.  But in my opinion, chowder is the best way to enjoy corn in the summer.  Many recipes use bacon but I think that takes away from the star attraction.  This recipe brings out all of the natural sweetness and savoriness of the corn, has richness from the dairy and stock and a lovely earthiness from the fresh herbs.

2011 © copyright Savory Simple, all rights reserved
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Corn Chowder

5 from 1 vote
Homemade corn chowder is a perfect way to showcase fresh sweet corn
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jennifer Farley


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 starchy potato (I used a Russet)
  • 3 ears corn
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Using a heavy bottom soup pot (I use a Le Creuset), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a small pinch of salt. Allow them to sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Coat the veggies with flour and stir well. You might see a bit of caramelization on the bottom of the pan, which is a good thing. Stir everything around for a minute or two and then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • While the stock is heating up, peel and dice the potato. I do this at the last second to avoid discoloration. If you want to peel the potato in advance, leave it in a bowl of water, but don't dice it or you'll lose too much starch. You want that to help thicken the chowder!
  • Once the stock is boiling, add the half and half as well as the potato. Stir well and allow the mixture to boil for 8 minutes. The potatoes may try to stick to the bottom of the pot so give it a stir periodically.
  • Slice the kernels off the corn cobs and add to the chowder. Allow the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley.
  • Stir in the butter.


Adapted from Tyler Florence

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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  • You just reminded me that I need to grab some corn from the market. It definitely tastes amazing this time and year and this chowder seems like the perfect way to showcase it’s flavor. Looks super super delicious.

    • I need to pick up some more as well. It’s so much fun deciding recipes based on what’s available at the market, isn’t it? I’ve been going nuts with the fruits and my ice cream maker.

  • I love visiting the farmers market, but the visit can take a lot out of you. But with beautiful dishes like this corn chowder, I would go anyday. I really enjoyed this post and this recipe

  • I’ve always wanted to try corn chowder & this looks like a delicious way to do so! I’m a vegetarian though, so do you think I can substitute the chicken stock w/ vegetable stock? I mean, I don’t see why not. Your photography is beautiful, by the way!

  • I’m working on a book on corn for the University of Illinois, and tomorrow I’ll be preparing corn soup based on a recipe in a cookbook from 1873. I don’t think it will be nearly as good as yours, however — no garlic, no onions, and the broth is made by boiling the corn cobs, after the corn is cut off! How things have changed. I suspect that, when I’m done, I’ll wish I were eating your corn chowder instead. :)

      • I actually figure the corn stock will be okay. It’s the lack of garlic, onions, and thyme that I think will make the difference. But given how tasty a simple ear of corn is, I expect it to be pleasant — just not quite as intense as your chowder, which looks splendid. I’ve found that with historical recipes, everything is pretty tasty, because human’s senses haven’t changed all that much, but we’ve come to expect a lot more depth and complexity than were possible for most of history.

  • I wrote a column on food history for 12 years, I’ve written for a few magazines, and I contributed to the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. There’s also a lot of food history sprinkled among the travel tales on my World’s Fare blog: . I think it’s very fun to read about food history, as so much of history and culture is bound together by food. And you never read in your school books about the part food played in world events, but it was a big factor, and sometimes the primary one.

  • Sounds delicious! Thanks for providing the farmers market finder link — I work a 9-5 job and get too lazy to make it to the farmers market on the weekends even though I always kick myself for it after tasting the supermarket produce. With that link you provided I was able to find a Saturday farmer’s market a couple miles away – so hopefully I make it there this weekend!

  • Yummy, I love corn chowder! The recipe I use is very similar to this, I will have to try this one out for a bit of a change. The best corn chowder I ever tasted was in Park City, Utah, at the local delicatessen. It was served in a small cob bun, which made the presentation that little bit nicer. Thanks :)

  • I love love love corn chowder and I’ve always been eating it from the can. this recipe means so much to me. thank you so much! now I can proudly say that I make corn chowder soup from scratch and not from can!