Fresh corn in Texas in the middle of summer is about the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted. Crisp, and sweet it is one of my favorite vegetables. Creamy Corn Chowder, however, in Texas when the temperature is 100F or higher? No way I’m making a big pot of corn chowder, no matter how delicious it is. However, this week, when the temperatures dropped in the 70s, it was my cue to make my End of Summer Creamy Corn Chowder.
This corn chowder recipe is a treat! Crispy fresh corn, potatoes, and carrots, in a silky smooth, creamy broth. It is a simple and no-nonsense recipe. Served with a couple of slices of rustic bread that is toasted, and crunchy. A bowl of this corn chowder lets you enjoy summers’ beautiful veggies and signals the coming of Autumn.
I garnish the corn chowder with bacon, however, to keep it vegetarian friendly, I sauté all of the veggies in butter and olive oil. After all, who doesn’t like butter on their corn? Or on potatoes, or carrots? I keep the seasoning very simple in order to let the corn, potatoes, and carrots really shine, they are the stars of the show.
When I make soups, stews, or corn chowder, I always use the delicate, center stalks from the celery. The tender young stalks have the most amazing flavor and the delicate pale celery leaves are the perfect garnish for corn chowder.
Corn Chowder Ingredients
- Fresh Corn: Fresh corn that is still on the cob is best. However, frozen corn is the next best thing for corn chowder. Five ears of corn yield roughly 4 cups of corn.
- Red Potatoes: ‘Waxy’ potatoes are best for chowder. They hold their shape without falling to pieces. I leave the skin on to give the corn chowder a nice pop of color.
- Carrots: Again, that beautiful pop of color in the chowder. Sweet and crunchy, fresh carrots are also in season and just about perfect this time of year. They add a great texture and flavor to the corn chowder.
- Onions, Garlic, and Celery: The aromatics add depth and character to the corn chowder. The delicate inner celery leaves make a beautiful and flavorful garnish.
- Veggie Stock and Heavy Cream: I use veggie stock for my vegetarian friends. However, chicken stock works well. Use heavy cream, not milk or half & half.
- Butter and Olive Oil: I don’t use the bacon grease although it’s traditional in corn chowder. Butter is the perfect flavor to add to corn, potatoes, and carrots.
- Seasonings: The corn chowder only needs the simplest of seasonings. Salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Let the flavor of the veggies be the star, not seasonings.
- All-Purpose Flour: To thicken the broth, I make a roux with the flour and butter. If you prefer a gluten-free corn chowder, you can make a slurry of corn starch and add it to the chowder at the end of cooking.
Corn Chowder Garnishes
- Bacon: Mmmm, bacon. I crisp the bacon and use it only as a garnish, I don’t add it to the chowder itself in order to keep the flavors, bright and crisp. Leaving the bacon as a garnish allows people to add as much or as little as they like, making the corn chowder uniquely their own.
- Scallions: I use green and white parts. It adds a nice freshness and a brilliant green pop of color to the corn chowder.
- Celery Leaves: I love the delicate center stalks of celery in soups, stews, and chowders. They are so tender and fragile, not at all like the tougher outer celery stalks. The leaves are very pale green and are as gorgeous as they are delicious.
- Shredded Cheddar: Bacon, cheddar, corn, potatoes? What’s not to love?
- Rustic Bread: A bread with a chewy crust is a great addition for dipping into chowder. Bonus points if you toast it!
- Chopped Herbs: Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, chives, or thyme. Anything topping that sounds good on corn, potatoes, or carrots is great in the corn chowder as well.
Frozen vs Fresh Corn in the Chowder?
It’s named End of Summer Creamy Corn Chowder, so I prefer to use fresh corn. However, frozen corn is a great substitute and is perfect if you are making this corn chowder in mid-winter.
How to Remove Corn from The Cob
This Creamy Corn Chowder is best using fresh corn, cut from the cob just moments before adding to the pot. There are dozens of gadgets, tricks, and tips on the internet for how to remove the corn kernels from the cob. My favorite method is simply to place a cutting board inside of a sheet tray. The sides of the sheet tray will catch the majority of the kernels as they try to bounce away.
This is my recipe for End of Summer Creamy Corn Chowder:
End of Summer Creamy Corn Chowder
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Onion Fine dice
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 1/2 Cup Celery Center stalks, reserve leaves for garnish
- 2 Cups Red Potatoes 1/2-inch dice
- 2 Cups Carrots 1/2-inch dice
- 5 Ears Corn 4-cups corn kernels
- 3 Cups Veggie Stock or chicken stock
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/4 Pound Bacon 1/2-inch dice, crispy
- Scallions White and green parts, diced
- Celery leaves
- Rustic Bread Toasted
- Shredded Cheddar
- Fresh Herbs your choice
- Place a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrots. Sauté until they begin to sizzle, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and let them sweat for 15-minutes.
- Add the corn and flour, then stir to combine. Do not brown the flour. Add the stock, heavy cream, and seasonings. Bring to a low boil.
- Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15-minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with your favorite garnishes