Creamy Corn Chowder with Bacon

August 4th, 2014

Corn Chowder 2


We have dear friends from Iowa who have a log cabin in Lake Lure.  They built their cabin here after staying at our rental cottage a few years ago.  They fell in love with Lake Lure and now have their own stunning get-away retreat.  They arrived from Iowa last week with fresh picked corn from home.  You can’t get any more authentic than corn from the heartland of America.  What to do with the bounty?

Corn Chowder 1


Why, corn chowder of course.  We have had cool, rainy weather AGAIN!  This was the perfect summer soup.

I have a long history with sweet corn.  It was one of the crops that dotted our farmlands in Michigan when I was growing up.  As teenagers my friends and I spent time in corn fields.  I guess that makes me kind of weird.  What were we doing in corn fields you may ask?

1. It was a great place to park.  Any couple who wanted privacy could find a hide-away under the full moon, hidden next to the stalks.  Very romantic.

2. Carloads of girlfriends loved to stop the car  on the road and run to the fields and gather a few ears to eat.  We usually ended up with field corn meant for cattle.  We were once attacked by a wild pig, but darn it was fun.  We laughed and considered ourselves daring.

3. Corn fields were just a part of our environment.  Still today, I measure the height of the corn by the old adage ” The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye” and know when it is ready to pick. Growing up in corn country, you just knew.

Corn Chowder Cropt

This corn chowder is hearty with a depth of flavor.  I simmered the shorn corn cobs in the vegetable broth mixture for a while to release as much flavor as possible.  Give it a try when you have lots of corn.  It can easily be doubled.


3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup flour
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
6 to 7 ears of corn, kernels removed and a few cobs saved to flavor the stock
1 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 and 1/2 or milk
Several sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled for garnish

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, red pepper and garlic and cook until onion is soft.  Add the flour and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently to slightly brown the flour.  Add the vegetable broth and 4 of the reserved corn cobs and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, partially covered.  Remove the cobs and add the celery, carrots, potatoes and corn kernels.  Cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.  Add the cream, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and cook gently for another 15 minutes.  Serves 6.

Printable Recipe

16 responses to “Creamy Corn Chowder with Bacon”

  1. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    That sounds wonderful Penny. I love simmering the sheared cob in the broth too. Sounds like we grew up very similar in Michigan! The saying I remember was that the farmers wanted their corn to be “knee high by the 4th of July” and then they knew it was growing well.

  2. Pondside says:

    Loved your stories! The chowder sounds like real comfort food. The corn will soon be ready here and we’ll have meals of just corn, butter and salt. Yummy!

  3. Sam Hoffer says:

    What a colorful chowder and beautifully plated. Lucky you to get a bounty of fresh corn.

  4. Lemon Tart says:

    I pinned your chowder recipe. It looks so enticing.


  5. larry says:

    Looks totally delicious Penny – makes me want to head to the corn patch.

  6. bellini says:

    I don’t see the fields of corn hear in British Columbia as I did growing up as a child in Southern Ontario. What we do have has been turned into corn mazes in the fall for kids of all ages. I do love good corn recipes.

  7. Barbara Williams says:

    Ah yes, I remember the cornfields. 🙂 And after I moved to Florida, I noticed (when I returned for fall visits) corn mazes, which were not much in evidence when I lived there. Looked like fun.
    Our favorite corn was always bantam corn…never see it here, wonder if it’s still available up there.

    Your soup looks fabulous, Penny! Great photo.

  8. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    Your friend was so thoughtful to bring you fresh corn. Corn chowder is very popular in the summer here in New England. Yours sounds very flavorful and hearty, just the way I like it. 🙂

  9. Chris says:

    Just curious as to how a country girl knew how high an elephant’s eye is, ha ha. This chowder looks to die for and I can’t wait to make this once it is not like 600 million degrees outside with 300% humidity. Of course then the corn won’t be as fresh so it’s a trade off 🙂

    • Penny Klett says:

      Funny Chris. The elephant reference came from the musical Oklahoma of course, which begs the question – how did Oklahoman’s know about elephants?

  10. Lisa says:

    I just made this tonight and it was so yummy! Thank you for posting this recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  11. Hello, your Creamy Corn Chowder recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cream. I know this is silly, what type of cream? Heavy cream?

    Sincerely yours,
    Georgia Tirado

  12. Anonymous says:

    Discusting doesn’t have any taste….what a wast of ingredients…sorry

    • Anonymous says:

      Has i was eating this soup the more bite i got the better and better it tasted ….

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.