Summer's Best Corn Chowder ♥ Recipe

Summer's Best Corn Chowder ♥
A simple corn chowder recipe, packed with our favorite fresh summer vegetables like onion, carrot, red pepper, potato and sweet potato and of course, the soup's real star, kernels of sweet corn. As bright and colorful as crates of fresh vegetables lined up at the farmstand. Perfect for CSA members because the corn chowder recipe uses so many fresh vegetables, all at once.

In winter, big pots of simmering soup are a given, hearty bowls to warm us from the inside out. But what about summer soup, do you make summer soup? Summer soups are just different, aren't they? Lighter and livelier, more likely to be all about the fresh vegetables that are so alluring during these heady summer months.

For me, summer just isn't summer without at least two must-make summer soup recipes, Tomato Gazpacho, the chilled tomato summer soup that turned me into a seasonal eater, and this corn chowder recipe, bits of summer vegetables and sweet kernels of corn in a milky broth. It's takes a little chopping, we do love to cut vegetables, don't we? :-)

I like this corn chowder served warm, not hot, the better to really taste the individual vegetables, bite by bite. It's similar to Finnish Summer Soup, one of my very oldest recipes. Add shrimp and scallops and bits of fresh tomato for Summer Seafood Chowder, another summer chowder.

All fans of summer soup will definitely want to check out my collection of Favorite Summer Soup Recipes, some chilled, some warm, all filled with summer vegetables (and fruit too!) and summer color.

Careful readers will note that today's corn chowder recipe is a reprise of a recipe first published back in 2005 when I was in "learning" mode and publishing a new vegetable recipe day for a year. I learned then, and repeat now, that this soup might disappoint when it's first done. But let it rest a bit, even a couple of hours, and all of a sudden, the flavors just bloom and you just might find yourself (I won't tell) slurping spoonfuls right from the pot.

"It was super delicious!!! I will definitely make this again!!!" ~ AnnMarie
"A wonderful chowder..." ~ Anonymous


Hands-on time: 50 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes but best if let to rest for at least a couple of hours or overnight
Makes 12 cups

2 tablespoons bacon drippings (see TIPS)
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 large carrots, cut into rounds or half-rounds (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, cut on the diagonal (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
Other summer vegetables - okra, green beans, tiny broccoli or cauliflower florets, etc.

3/4 pound new potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, skins on and diced
3/4 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced (from 1 medium sweet potato)
6 cups chicken stock (I used Homemade Chicken Stock)
2 fresh whole sprigs of thyme or oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, about 6 ears (How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn 'Milk')
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or for incredible richness, half & half or even cream)
Additional salt to taste, pepper to taste

In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the bacon drippings on MEDIUM HIGH until sizzling. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, zucchini and other summer vegetables as they're prepped, gently cooking just until beginning to soften. Stir in potatoes, sweet potato, chicken stock, fresh herb sprigs and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to maintain a simmer, let simmer until potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked.

Add the sugar, corn and milk and cook for about 10 minutes, just until the corn is cooked, it won't take long! Remove the fresh herb sprigs and season to taste.

Let rest off the heat for an hour or two before serving or cover and refrigerate overnight.

BACON If you don't have bacon drippings on hand, cook about 1/2 cup diced bacon (from about 5 slices) until crispy, lift out of the skillet. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and continue.
SALT Salt is key here, especially if using unsalted homemade chicken stock.
VEGETARIAN CORN CHOWDER Just use olive oil instead of bacon drippings and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It will be glorious! This recipe is really all about the vegetables and the milky broth.

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~ Raw Corn Chowder ~
~ Cooler Corn - How to Cook Corn in a Beer Cooler ~
~ Grilled Sweet Corn (in the Husks) with Spiced Lime Butter ~
~ Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Favorite Summer Soup Recipes ~
~ Fresh Creamed Corn ~
~ Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad ~
~ Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp ~
~ more corn recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2012 & 2015 (repub)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna I love corn chowder but have never made it from scratch since I'm the only one in my family that likes it. However, now that you've shared this recipe I may have to make it all for myself.

  2. I love soups! Super filling and an easy way to get all of your veggies in for the day! I love to make a huge batch and use as leftover dinners and sometimes pour over some lettuce as a salad. Great recipe for summer,I will have to try it out! Love and Shine CourtStar

  3. This is definitely the best summer corn chowder recipe. The bright colors gives a full blown summer feel.

  4. Alanna, I am new to yor blog and have loved all of your recipes ideas!! I made the corn chowder yesterday, with Fat Free chicken Broth and Fat Free Half and HAlf!! I used most of my CSa Veggies and It was super delicious!!! I will definitely make this again!!! Thanks!!!


  5. oh my gosh that looks INCREDIBLE! i love the serving dish too:) awesome!

  6. I have this on the stove as we speak! You are such an excellent resource for veggie-filled cooking. Question... at what point do you add the stock, salt and herbs? After the veggies soften but before the sugar/corn/milk?

  7. Yikes, I seem to have left out an entire paragraph, so sorry, will fix as soon as I am back to a computer. In the mean time, after the first veggies are cooked in the fat, add the stock, potatoes and herbs. Bring to a simmer, simmer til the potatoes are done. Then add the corn and milk and carry on ...

  8. A wonderful chowder..however the recipe directions neglect the step of adding the broth and the herbs. So I just winged it, but I'm quite experienced in soup making. I used fresh dill to wonderful results.

  9. I've never used sweet potato in corn chowder. Interesting......

  10. I still miss Gourmet too! Such a shame....


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna