Corn Chowder

This satisfying Corn Chowder makes the most of sweet, fresh summer corn. This is one of the best corn chowders I have ever tasted. Made with fresh corn, redskin potatoes, bacon, onions and one simple ingredient that takes this chowder from good to amazing. So what is that simple ingredient you ask? Corn milk! This was the first time that I had “milked” a corn cob. You know that layer left on the cob when you cut the kernels off by hand. That’s where the milk comes from! By taking the back side of a butter knife and scraping off the remaining pulp you get a sweet milky substance that is added to the chowder and allows the fresh corn flavor to shine through. With corn at its peak and as cheap as .25 cents an ear, you have no excuse not to make this delicious chowder. 😉

One Year Ago: Garlic Bread 

Corn Chowder

Printer Friendly Version


  • 8 ears corn , husks and silk removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion , chopped fine
  • 4 slices bacon , halved lengthwise then cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups water
  • 3/4 pound red potatoes , cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. Using chef’s knife or corn stripper, cut kernels from corn; Being careful to remove only the part of the corn kernel sticking out of the cob; cutting deeper will pull off fibrous material. Transfer the cut kernels (you should have 5 to 6 cups kernels) to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Hold cobs over a second bowl and using back of butter knife, firmly scrape any remaining pulp on cobs into bowl. You will have about 2 to 2 1/2 cups pulp. Transfer pulp to center of clean kitchen towel set in medium bowl. Wrap towel tightly around pulp and squeeze tightly until dry. Discard pulp in towel and set corn juice aside; you should have about 2/3 cup juice.
  3. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, bacon, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and edges are beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually add water, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Add corn kernels and potatoes. Return to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes have softened, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of chowder to a blender and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return puree to chowder; add half-and-half and return to simmer. Remove pot from heat and stir in reserved corn juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2011

This entry was posted in Main Dish, Soup and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Corn Chowder

  1. Caroline says:

    I’ve never “milked” a corn cob either–how cool! Chowders are so delicious and hearty. Yours looks fantastic. 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    YES! I totally scrap that stuff with my teeth when I am eating a corn on the cob. I always tell people it’s sweet and tastes good but they just look at me like I’m crazy. Must make this.

  3. jennknee says:

    Milking corn??! Who knew! Not me! This is such a great idea. Definitely worth trying out I’d say!

  4. Megan says:

    Sounds wonderful! I really need to make this with all the corn we’ve been finding at the farmers market.

  5. I love corn chowder and this looks so wonderful. Your comment about milking the corn made me chuckle as it reminded me of a scene in “Meet the Fockers” where Ben Stiller tells Robert De Niro how he used to milk a cat 🙂 Very funny!

  6. I need to milk the cob. I love recipes that use something that would normally be discarded. Great post.

  7. Haha, I should really try milking the cob! 😉

  8. omg!! I love your pics, they have me salivating!! “milk” a cob, for this bowl of yumminess..yes,yes,yes!

    bonnie at sweet life

  9. I love corn chowder! This looks delicious especially with fresh corn. Yum!

  10. Looks mouthwateringly good! Love a good bowl of homemade soup!

  11. ahhh this corn chowder looks amazing!! yumm!

  12. Judy says:

    Chowder makes me think of the coming fall and winter, all the comfort food just ahead … for now, I can’t stop grilling 😉

  13. The Teenage Taste says:

    I can’t believe how delicious and thick that corn chowder looks! I’m a sucker for anything made with corn! 😀

  14. Corn milk? Doesn’t that sound like Cook’s Illustrated? I love it. The chowder looks amazing, and I’ve been so excited about fresh corn lately.

  15. Yummm! I’m a soup gal and this looks right up my alley. Delicious!

  16. Your chowder looks delicious! A perfect way to use that good, fresh corn.

    Scraping the cob for the starchy milk is a very old, Southern preparation method. I learned how to do it when I was just big enough to reach the countertops in my Mama’s kitchen. Another way to use that corn after you scrape it is to combine it with some butter, milk or half and half, salt and pepper and bake it for about 30-45 minutes. Best corn ever!

  17. Pingback: Creamy Corn Pudding | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  18. Nothing says summer like a great ear of summer corn and this soup looks absolutely fantastic. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  19. Jenifer says:

    Have you ever tried freezing this soup?

    • Christina says:

      Whenever I make this soup it never lasts long enough for me to freeze. I might be a bit hesitant to freeze it since it has potatoes in it and potatoes don’t freeze well. Freezing it will most likely change the texture. That being said, let me know if you end of trying to freeze and and how it turns out. This is one of my favorite summer soups to make, I definitely recommend giving it a try! 🙂

  20. KAT says:

    I just wanted to leave you a little cyber love – I made this soup and I’ll tell you it is FABULOUS! I’ve never milked corn before and was kinda giggling when I did – but WOW this soup packs lots of flavor! I have 4 dozen ears of corn I am getting ready to cut and milk into individual Corn Chowder freezer packages for the winter – thanks for the recipe it’s a real keeper!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks so much for letting me know how the chowder turned out for you! I am so glad that you enjoyed it! This is definitely one of my favorite soups for the summer! 🙂

  21. Pingback: Soup’s On! A Soup Roundup! | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  22. Pingback: Summer Eats Roundup | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  23. Pingback: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwiches | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s