Summer Corn Chowder


Summer Corn Chowder | Cooking Classy

It’s starting to feel like summer is definitely in full swing! I’m finding myself passing out otter pops to my kids and their friends on a daily basis – and maybe having a few myself (one of my favorite childhood treats, how could I resist?). I’m enjoying relaxing in the warm suns rays. The store is finally full of good fresh produce and I’ve already been getting flavorful, sweet corn on the cob – none of that worthless dried up stuff that looks like it has nothing left to give and it’s highly lacking in flavor. So what does that mean? Time for all the fresh corn recipes like this incredibly delicious Corn Chowder!

This soup is amazing but key to it is really good corn on the cob because it’s the prominent flavor here and most important part of this soup. I don’t think I’d ever use frozen corn unless it’s winter and you’re really craving it and you use frozen fresh corn which was from your garden or the farmers market.

I adapted this recipe with slight changes from Cook’s Illustrated. In their recipe they call for shaving off the remaining corn bits with a vegetable peeler after cutting the kernels from the cobs. Then from there you have to wrap it in a cloth and squeeze out the juice. First of all I found it a huge pain and a big mess and if I would have finished I wouldn’t have only ended up with half the amount of juice called for. Secondly, I found an alternate method that was much easier, just cut the kernels from two extra cobs of corn, add to a food processor and pulse until pureed then force through a fine strainer and you should get about 1/2 cup juice. But last of all, after finishing the soup I found it had plenty of corn flavor and everything seemed perfectly balanced so I didn’t even end up adding in that corn juice I’d extracted, so I figured it’s not worth the extra effort. Who knows maybe that’s just personal opinion, but I thought the honey I added to the recipe (in place of the sugar they had listed) gave it the perfect touch of sweetness so the sweetness from the added juice wasn’t even needed.

I love how the bacon in this soup perfectly compliments the light natural sweetness of the corn, while the potatoes give it some body and creaminess. Then the final garnish of chives gives this soup the perfect little bite they need, so don’t omit them. This is the perfect summer soup and once you try a bowlful you’ll want to head back for another serving and then you’ll want to continue to make it all summer long!

Summer Corn Chowder | Cooking ClassySummer Corn Chowder | Cooking ClassySummer Corn Chowder | Cooking ClassySummer Corn Chowder | Cooking ClassySummer Corn Chowder | Cooking Classy

Summer Corn Chowder

Yield: 6 servings

Summer Corn Chowder


  • 8 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, husked and silks removed and kernels cut from cob
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)


  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown around edges, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir in corn kernels and potatoes. Add in thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove bay leave then transfer 2 1/2 cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot then stir in half and half and honey. Sprinkle each serving with chives and optional cheddar.
  • Recipe source: adapted from Cooks Illustrated via Tracy's Culinary Adventures


  • Char R.: OMG! This sounds and looks amazing!
    I love corn any way I can get it. I’ll
    probably wait another month or so when our ILLINOIS corn is ready. (IF I can wait that long!) June 15, 2015 at 3:15pm Reply

  • Deborah: Thanks! This arrived in my email just in time for dinner tonight. Wasn’t feeling like having what was on my menu list. I expect it to be delicious! June 15, 2015 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it :)! June 16, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: I could have this all year long! June 15, 2015 at 11:23pm Reply

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden: Every ingredient in this soup is better than the next, cheddar? Bacon? Garlic? Corn? You cannot go wrong! This is a winner. A party in your mouth. June 17, 2015 at 5:46am Reply

  • Medeja: It would also be perfect for winter! so nice and warming! June 16, 2015 at 3:22am Reply

  • Cat: I love corn! This is the first time I see a recipe like this! I can’t wait to try it!
    Cat June 16, 2015 at 6:00am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Corn soup definitely says summer. Love that you made this recipe a little easier. I’m all about making things as easy as they can be. June 16, 2015 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Do you think it would be ok without the bacon? I can’t eat most meats, unfortunately bacon is one of them. June 18, 2015 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like the light salty smoky flavor it adds but you could omit it or use ham if you like that. June 18, 2015 at 8:05pm Reply

  • Sasi: Beautiful clicks.. Just couldn’t take my eyes off your pictures.. Will have to try this recipe sometime minus the bacon… June 19, 2015 at 11:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment! June 19, 2015 at 3:13pm Reply

  • Amy: What would you suggest as an alternative to thyme? I’m not a fan and always wonder if I should replace it with something else or just leave it out. Thanks! June 21, 2015 at 7:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could use some basil in this instead, which is another herb I’ve seen in corn soups. June 22, 2015 at 10:06pm Reply

  • Meghan: Have you tried using chicken stock instead of water? Or veggie stock? June 22, 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I considered it but then I thought it may overpower the corn flavor so I opted to go with just the water. June 22, 2015 at 9:58pm Reply

  • Bradley: Made it tonight,very good
    Thanks June 26, 2015 at 8:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Bradley! Thanks for your comment! June 26, 2015 at 10:05pm Reply

  • Annie: Hello-
    This looks so good and will try – could I use 1% milk instead of cream?
    Thank you! June 27, 2015 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It will give you a much different end result, more of a runny soup without that rich creamy flavor but you could sub it if you need to make it healthier or something. August 12, 2015 at 5:05pm Reply

  • Ally: Made this tonight and it was a hit..Very rich and creamy!! Yummy..sent some to our Neighbours too and they loved it!! Thank you for the is definitely a keeper!! June 27, 2015 at 9:35pm Reply

  • BJ: Looks wonderful. Have you tried it chilled? June 28, 2015 at 2:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t but I don’t think this one would be good cold – although I might not be the right person to ask. I don’t like cold soups, not really into gazpachos and such. June 29, 2015 at 10:49pm Reply

  • Lauren: Mmmmm-the smells going on in my kitchen tonight as I make this recipe! I cooked the bacon first and removed before adding other ingredients (just didn’t like the idea of food processing the bacon in the later step). Added bacon back at the end (because you gotta have the bacon). Also, substituted vegetable stock. Yum! June 30, 2015 at 3:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear you loved it Lauren! And I agree, bacon is a must! :) July 7, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

  • tam: Can you tell me how much this makes? I need to serve about 30 people at the beach house…it sounds delicious! July 1, 2015 at 8:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It makes about 6 servings as a main dish – wish I had the measurement in cups too for you. July 2, 2015 at 11:28pm Reply

  • Lillian: I made this tonight, My hubby was not a fan. He said it was too sweet for him, I however Loved it and went back for seconds. I think it would be very good with some ham added in addition to the bacon, I am going to freeze a bowl or two for winter time. Thanks for the recipe. July 2, 2015 at 5:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Lillian! And yes you could definitely add some ham or extra bacon for your husband :). July 2, 2015 at 11:21pm Reply

    • Belinda: I also added a little Tabasco Hot Sauce to the soup and it gave a nice balance for the sweetness. August 2, 2015 at 9:20am Reply


  • Lauren: Hey! So is it best to place raw bacon and onion together or cook bacon first before browning onions? July 9, 2015 at 5:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s fine as long as the bacon/onion gets cooked through in the soup which is does here. August 30, 2015 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Julie: I’m definitely trying this recipe but switching out the flour for corn starch so it will be gluten free … soup! July 9, 2015 at 6:28pm Reply

    • aileen burke: Please let me know if the cornstarch option worked. And if it did, how much did you use? August 15, 2015 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Sabrina: Hi! I’m making this tonight but I’m using heavy cream because that’s what I have. Would that be ok? Also I have Mexican shredded cheese instead of cheddar. . July 10, 2015 at 9:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The Mexican cheese would be just fine, then I would recommend using 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk if you have milk, if not maybe 2/3 cup cream and 1/3 cup water just so it’s not too rich. July 10, 2015 at 9:59pm Reply

  • Robyn: I made this today and it’s fantabulous! Thanks so much! July 11, 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Robyn! Thanks for your comment! July 11, 2015 at 11:26pm Reply

  • Kathy: I made this today and it is amazing. A lot of prep in shucking the corn but the freshness is what makes this a Outstanding soup. I did (like I do with my cream based soups) Added a little sherry. That was the only change. I thought about adding chicken broth but turns out you don’t need it. I really took my time adding the salt and pepper until it was perfect. You can’t unsalt so better to add as you go. I had Paired it with some of the Hawian sweet rolls. Just wonderful. I did put some up in the freezer for later. July 14, 2015 at 10:46pm Reply

  • Michael: Look wonderful. I have one question. Do you blanch the corn first? July 16, 2015 at 11:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No it goes in raw. August 30, 2015 at 3:35pm Reply

  • Beverley: Hi there. I live in the uk and have never heard of half annd half. What is it please ! July 17, 2015 at 9:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s just a blend of 50% milk 50% cream so you can easily just make it yourself. I hope you try this soup and love it! August 30, 2015 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I made this tonight and it is delicious. Much lighter than I thought. The crunchy corn adds a lot of texture and it’s just a really nice flavor blend.

    The only thing I would do differently is cook the bacon before adding the onions, so it gets crispier, otherwise really great simple recipe. July 18, 2015 at 7:17pm Reply

  • Amy: Can’t wait to make this. Have you ever thought of using milk instead of water and omitting flour step? August 12, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I did think about it but I adapted this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and they mentioned something about how using the water left room for the flavor of the corn to shine (in different words). August 12, 2015 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Ellen: This sounds and looks so good! My husband
    thinks anything without meat in it is an appetizer; what do you think about adding chicken to this recipe? I’m thinking cooked shredded or small cut chicken right before serving. Thoughts? Thanks! August 12, 2015 at 10:37pm Reply

  • Joni: This looks delicious. The only question I have has to do with the bay leaf. Do you remove it before placing anything in the blender or serving? August 13, 2015 at 8:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh yes thanks for pointing that out! I added that to the directions. August 13, 2015 at 11:27pm Reply

  • Diane: Made this last night…absolutely delicious. Omitted honey…already very sweet…used good Maine fresh corn. Also applewood smoked bacon. Basil instead of thyme. Husband said best soup I’ve ever made. Passing this recipe on to my granddaughter. August 14, 2015 at 7:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you both enjoyed it Diane! Thanks for your comment! August 14, 2015 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Dan Moffett: Do you know how it would turn out substituted chicken broth for water? August 16, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would just add more light flavor which would be fine. I just thought the water was perfect in this surprisingly, nothing in there to overpower it or anything. August 16, 2015 at 12:04pm Reply

      • Dan Moffett: Thank you. I use chicken broth for most of my soups just for the extra nutrient content. But it does add an extra layer of flavor but never overpowering.
        Thanks again. August 17, 2015 at 7:26am Reply

  • linda: sounds great– do you have Nutrition info- per serving for diabetics August 17, 2015 at 7:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have that info. August 18, 2015 at 6:34pm Reply

  • Janice Fryatt: I made this yesterday and it was divine!!!! I’ve tried a lot of corn chowder recipes and this was by far the BEST!!! Thank you for sharing it with all of us. August 17, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Corissa: Could you make this in a crockpot and still turn out the same? August 18, 2015 at 7:01pm Reply

  • Betty: This will be good year-round. Fortunately frozen corn is ‘flash frozen’ and it tastes as good as fresh. I’m sure this soup will freeze well. Thanks for sharing. August 18, 2015 at 7:29pm Reply

  • Adriane: In regards to the shaving and juice extraction of the cobs: my gramma would simmer the cobs after cutting the kernels off, then use the resulting “corn broth” for the soup. It’s amazing how much flavor can come from fresh cobs. The simmering time is used for prepping the remaining ingredients, so time is roughly the same. Just an idea to make an already awesome chowder a little better and easier. More corn flavor can’t be wrong. August 19, 2015 at 7:31am Reply

  • KeLsey: I’ve never been much of a fan of corn chowder, but giving it a try I made this for Sunday lunch and it was delicious!

    I ended up adding an extra 3 cups of water or so, maybe it’s because I’m in Denver and it boils off quicker. Nothing new there.

    I also substituted 1 1/2 tbsp of corn starch for the flour to make it gluten free.

    Delicious!! The honey is a wonderful addition. August 23, 2015 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Nancy: OMG is this the best soup! I doubled the recipe for a gathering of 10. About 6 of the 10 went back for second helpings (served with salad and bread) and I took home about 4 servings of soup if that helps anyone judge how many it can feed. Also I’m eating the leftovers the next day and it’s just as good so it can be made ahead. I read someone added sherry, I did use chicken broth but like the simmering corn cob suggestion. I did add some hot sauce (no one knew) just taste as you go and the chives, cheddar and bacon on top make it really yummy. Thank you for testing SO glad I knew the Cooks Illustrated step wasn’t necessary and for posting. August 26, 2015 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it Nancy! Thanks for your feedback! August 26, 2015 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Melodie: Absolutely delicious. Will become a family favorite. Don’t eat bacon so left that out, but otherwise followed your directions. Made with 4 cups chicken broth, one cup water. Didn’t have chives or add the cheddar cheese topping, but it was very flavorful without either of these. Even better the second and third days. Blending the 2 1/2 cups is the secret trick, I think. Mades it so creamy and rich. Thank you, Jaclyn! August 27, 2015 at 10:41am Reply

  • AnnCP: If I don’t have fresh corn – how much of frozen will equal 8 cobs? August 29, 2015 at 2:31pm Reply

    • DSD1970: 8 ears of corn = approximately 6 cups of frozen corn. September 19, 2015 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Connie: I made this soup today with the seasonal corn that’s available this summer for my carnivore hubby and it was a big hit! I loved the hint of honey and actually doubled the amount that the recipe called for. I will be making this again this summer! August 30, 2015 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Connie! August 30, 2015 at 11:18pm Reply

  • Jeanett: I didn’t know what to make for dinner – saw this recipe and thought I’d try it out.
    It’s absolutely delicious!
    I didn’t blend the chowder, but just ate it as it was – with a piece of bread.
    Definitely something I’ll make again. August 31, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

  • Amanda: fo you by chance have the approximate cups of corn this is? I have fresh corn already off the cob. August 31, 2015 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Last time I made a corn salad recipe 4 cobs gave me 3 1/2 cups so its probably about 6 – 7 cups here. August 31, 2015 at 11:09pm Reply

  • Lydia: This looks great! I was wondering how you think this would freeze? September 1, 2015 at 6:41am Reply

  • Katie: I made this today and it is very good–manages to seem light despite the cream. The only “change” I made was to soak the cobs in the 5c water while I prepped my other veg and sauteed the onion and bacon. I don’t know if it will make a big difference, but I felt like I was getting more out of my ingredients–the water was definitely milky when I poured it in. September 6, 2015 at 5:19pm Reply

  • Alicia: I boiled the corn in salted water after cutting off the kernels to make a “corn stock” in place of the water. Worked out great! September 6, 2015 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Dawn: This looks so delicious, I want to make this for an event this weekend and wonder about making it the day ahead. Does it reheat well?
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, can’t wait to try it! September 15, 2015 at 7:26pm Reply

  • Kristina: I was tempted to add some fresh (seeded) jalapenos and maybe hide in some extra veggies (before they go bad)…thoughts? September 21, 2015 at 2:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think jalapeños would be a good addition to this soup, they’d give it a little kick. And I’d say as long as they are mild tasting veggies that won’t overpower the flavor of the corn that should be fine. September 21, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Carrie Ray: Delicious! I didn’t have the time to use fresh corn, so I used frozen. I figured 6 cups of corn would be about the same as 8 ears, depending on size. This certainly made things easier! This is a new family favorite that we will be making over and over! Thanks! September 28, 2015 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Jane on Whidbey: I wouldn’t do the vegetable peeler and cloth thing, either.
    I’m planning on making this with broth made in the pressure cooker with the corn cobs in water. Simmering is nice, but summer doesn’t make me long for more heat in the kitchen. I’m finding that the pressure cooker takes care of many dishes that I don’t want to smell cooking for hours in a slow cooker, and I like the results on my electric bill.
    I love corn chowder, and this one looks inviting. Thanks for the recipe! November 18, 2015 at 9:29pm Reply

  • Laurie S.: I really like this recipe. But my water was the boiled cobs. I added celery. And next time I will cook the bacon first. November 26, 2015 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Michelle: This is one of those dish where you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything because there are so many fab textures and flavours! :D December 21, 2015 at 9:02pm Reply

  • Molly Cuddy: I would like to make this today for tomorrow Christmas Eve. I have chucked corn from this summer in the freezer. Will it stay in the frig till tomorrow evening? I would just heat it up tomorrow night. Thanks. Looks amazing! December 23, 2015 at 7:57am Reply

  • Tiffany: Do you need to use honey? March 16, 2016 at 6:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s not absolutely necessary and if your corn is super sweet you may not need it. March 16, 2016 at 7:58pm Reply

  • Val Montemurro: About how many cups would you say 8 ears make?? I have frozen cut from the cob corn in the freezer & am dying to try this! Thanks Val April 10, 2016 at 7:51pm Reply

  • Dana: Stupid question maybe but are we cooking the corn first? Or cooking it while its in with all the other ingredients? April 22, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You don’t need to cook the corn first, it will cook with the rest of the soup :). April 27, 2016 at 12:29am Reply

  • NIKKI BARNES: I made this tonight and it is delicious. I did use vegetable stock and left the bacon out. I used just a dash of liquid smoky for that smoky flavor. Divine!! May 15, 2016 at 8:23pm Reply

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