Recipes for the season: Summer corn chowder

by guest blogger Kelly Madey,

It was a classic case
Of my eyes
Being much bigger
Than my belly.

The first sweet corn of the season,
And I just couldn’t resist
Bringing home an insane amount of corn
For a mere family of four.

Sure, it was delicious
Simply steamed,
And eaten right off the cob
With nothing more than a sprinkling of sea salt;

No need for an entree
With corn this good;
But what to do with the remaining
Half dozen ears of corn?

My first thought was chowder,
But with the temperature reaching
Nearly 100,
A cream laden dinner
Was less than appealing.

But what if I made
A concoction that was more soup than chowder?
It could work, especially since our air conditioning
Is set to Arctic.

Summer Corn Soup/Chowder with Poblano, Bacon, and Potato

This recipe is all about the sweet corn of summer from None Such Farm Market.

I clearly wanted to showcase the fresh corn without muddling the flavor. The saltiness of bacon adds a nice complement to the sweetness of the corn. If you ask me, bacon pretty much complements everything.

Poblano pepper, garlic and new potatoesI took advantage of the remaining bacon fat to soften some chopped Polbano pepper, garlic, and scallions. It gives this soup a little south of the border kick.

As the veggies are softening, I cut the corn from the cobs using a nifty trick from Cooks Illustrated. A bundt pan holds the cob while the kernels fall into the pan. It is not completely mess free, as you can see, but it is much better than free styling it, and discovering corn kernels days later in the oddest of places.

Bundt pan for corn

I cook the veggies, potatoes, and two naked corn cobs in a pot of chicken broth. I should be using a soup pot, but after two days of recipe testing, my soup pots are not available. While most people dream of a fancy sports car or a vacation home, I dream of a commercial dishwasher.

Soup on stove

After 20 minutes, the potatoes are cooked. I remove the cobs, add the corn, and simmer for just 10 more minutes. At the end I puree a few cups of soup to add thickness and body.

Cream from Trickling Springs Creamery

I finish the soup with a little decadence, in the form of fresh cream from Trickling Springs Creamery. Just a 1/4 cup adds a hint of richness without weighing it down….and don’t forget to sprinkle with chopped bacon before serving.

Soup in summer. Yes, please!


Summer Corn Soup/Chowder With Poblano, Bacon, and Potato

(adapted from Tony Rosenfeld, Fine Cooking, Issue 87)
Serves 6


6 slices smoked bacon
1 cup chopped scallions (green and white parts), divided
½ Poblano pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
64 oz. low sodium chicken broth
Corn kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn (reserve two cobs)
2 ½ cups red potatoes, cut into a 1 inch dice
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
¼ cup heavy cream


  1. Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Let cool, then chop.
  2. Discard all but two tablespoons of bacon fat. Return soup pan to medium heat and add ¾ cup of the scallions and the Poblano pepper. Cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, two cobs of corn (kernels already removed) and potatoes. Season with salt. Cook over medium/high heat for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove corn cobs from soup. Add fresh corn kernels. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Puree 2 cups of soup/chowder in a blender or food processor. Return puree to soup. Stir. Add cream. Stir.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped bacon and remaining scallions.

Kelly Madey makes amazing baked goods. Check out her website One Sweet Baker and find her selling her delicious pastries at area farmers markets.

Photo credit for all pictures in this post: Kelly Madey.

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