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Corn Chowder (Spicy, Smokey, and a tad Bacon-y)

Corn Chowder with Bacon

The corn is coming in hot and all I can think about is how it is going to be gone in just a few weeks. Like every summer, corn has become a given with every meal, fresh for dinner and leftovers to go in eggs or tossed into a salad. And as much as I cherish every little morsel of every bite I take, it does get, well, a little boring gnawing at that cob every night, not to mention the immediate need for a good flossing (recent recommendations be damned…they clearly have never eaten corn on the cob).

This soup is so simple but it really spices things up nicely – it has rekindled my love for corn, as if it were just the start of the season – but the real bonus here is that you can make a TON and freeze that sh*t for a january night when you are starting to wonder if you will ever bite into those perfectly plump nuggets of heavenly sweetness again. Im already thanking myself for being so thoughtful of my poor produce-deprived winter self.

Corn Chowder with Bacon

what to do with a dozen corn cobs….

Don’t throw them away first of all. There is still so much juiciness and flavor going on in there.

Corn Stock –

The simplest way to use them would be to cover them with water in a large pot and boil for an hour or two to concentrate the flavor. A summer veggie stock to use in your next pot of soup.

Sweet Corn Cream –

Ok this might sound weird but when I was at Locanda we made a Sweet Corn Pannacotta that was really scrumptious, topped with a blueberry compote. If you cant make it right away, just keep the cobs in the fridge until you are ready.

To make the Sweet Corn Cream:

Put corn cobs in a large stock pot and cover with heavy cream or a combo of cream and whole milk. Heat slowly so as not to burn the cream and bring it just to a boil. Remove from heat and put in the fridge with the cobs to infuse overnight or for as long as you can.

Use this in any recipe that calls for milk or cream – like ice cream!!

Corn Chowder

Yield: 10 servings


  1. 12 ears of corn (preferably yellow)

  2. 6-8 yukon gold potatoes

  3. 8oz smoked bacon, roughly chopped

  4. 1 yellow onion, diced

  5. 3-4 poblano peppers

  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced

  7. 1 cup white wine

  8. 2-3 tsp smoked paprika

  9. ½ - 1 tsp cayenne

  10. lots of salt and pepper

  11. 1 cup full fat greek yogurt

  12. ½ cup grate Parmesan

  13. juice of 2 limes


  1. Shuck the corn, remove kernels from the cob and set aside.

  2. In a small pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Generously salt the water and let cook until the potatoes are very tender. I like to cook the potatoes separately so I can make sure they cook all the way through and then I mash them a bit to give the soup some thickness.

  3. In a large soup pot cook the bacon bits until crispy and browned. Set aside for garnish.

  4. Using some or all of the rendered bacon fat, sauté the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until translucent (5-7 minutes).

  5. While the onions cook, char the poblanos under the broiler or over a burner. Remove the blackened skin, stem and seeds. Dice the poblanos and add them to the onions along with the minced garlic.

  6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan.

  7. Add the corn, smashed potatoes, paprika, cayenne and turmeric then stir in 8 cups water or parmesan stock.

  8. Let the soup cook for about 20 minutes at a gentle simmer - we aren't trying to cook anything here, just to meld the flavors.

  9. Turn off the heat and stir in the greek yogurt, parm and lime juice.

  10. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if necessary (it needs more salt than you think so go ahead and add some more for good measure).

  11. Serve with a sprinkle of bacon bits.


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