Incredibly Delicious Corn Chowder - Guilt Free Comfort Dish

Incredibly Delicious Corn Chowder - Guilt Free Comfort Dish

This chowder is so deliciously rich, creamy and chunky. Full of veggies, it’s surely a comfort dish with a lot less guilt. It’s also packed with veggies, hence with nutrients, antioxidants and fiber.

So chunky, so creamy!

I cook what feels healthy to me and this dish is an example of that. I often say that there isn’t one healthy diet or one way to eat, otherwise we would all already be doing it. It’s up to each person to determine what they consider healthy (and their doctors, perhaps.) I know corn and whether it’s healthy or not could be a hot-button issue. The safety of genetically modified corn is untested and questioned, I agree with that. Also, it’s quite high in starch, which may potentially cause sugar spikes as well as  potential weight gain. I’m aware of all these things. But to me, in moderation – corn is a healthy and versatile addition to our diet. If you don’t consider corn healthy, please check many of my other veggie or soup recipes; but if you do – give this delicious soup a try!

Now, let’s get back to the corn and ways to maximize its delicious flavour! Many great cooks know to utilize as much of an ingredient as possible. Making a beet salad? Remember the greens attached to the beet are edible! Finishing up a block of Parmesan cheese? Add the rind to sauces or pasta boiling water! Chicken carcasses and bones – homemade stock please!

What can be more comforting than a fresh warm bowl of soup? Nothing!

Same with the corn! Use the corn cobs, after you shave off the corn and set it aside! There’s so much flavour sealed inside them that will deeply infuse your soup. While you are prepping things and chopping veggies, or even doing something else – let them simmer away! After ten minutes, if you taste the simmering water – you might think what a waste of time it is. But after 20 minutes or so, you will see why – your simmering liquid will taste amazing – sweet, flavourful, impossible to stop tasting. That will give you an idea of just how delicious your soup will be after you add your veggies and corn!

Hope you give this soup a try and love it as much as I do!

See notes for bacon corn chowder variation

DifficultyBeginner

Yields6 Servings

 4-6 ears of corn
 3 tbsp oil
 1 yellow onion, diced finely
 4 stalks of celery, diced finely
 2 carrots, peeled and diced finely
 1 bell pepper, small dice
 1-2 Russet potatoes, diced in about 1/2" cubes
 ¼ cup flour
 1 bay leaf
 6 cups chicken broth or water, plus more as needed (I use water for cleaner taste)
 pinch of red pepper flakes
 ¼ cup milk, half and half or heavy cream (less or more to taste)
 salt and pepper to taste
 Parsley or Green onions, for garnish
 Shredded cheese, for garnish, optional

1

Cut off the kernels from the cobs and reserve. With the dull side of the knife, try to extract as much "corn milk" that's left behind on the cob as possible.

Break the cobs in half, place in a pot, fill with about 6 cups of water or stock (see note,) add a pinch of red pepper flakes and a bay leaf. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. You can simmer for longer, if desired, the flavour will just keep intensifying. Be sure to strain this simmering liquid before adding in step 3. At that point, discard cobs and the bay leaf.

2

In the meantime, chop up all your veggies.

3

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot or a Dutch oven. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook for 7-10 minutes until soft, fragrant and just beginning to brown, but have not browned. Add bell peppers, if using, and cook for another minute or two. Sprinkle flour and cook for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste, stirring constantly. Pour in about 1/2 cup strained simmering liquid. Stir vigorously to work out any lumps and ensure the flour is well incorporated and the liquid thickens. Slowly pour in the rest of the liquid while stirring and working out any lumps. Add potatoes and corn at this point. Add enough liquid to just barely cover your veggies (if they are already covered, do not add anymore, I ended up adding another 3/4 cup water.) Remember, it's always easier to thin out the soup with more liquid later, so be sure not to add too much (again, just barely cover the veggies with the liquid, that's it!)

4

Bring your soup to boil, reduce to simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Check to make sure your potatoes and corn kernels are soft. Continue simmering until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Taste the soup and season to taste with a good pinch of kosher salt and pepper. When you are happy with the consistency - transfer 0-50% of your soup to the blender. The proportion of the soup you are going to puree is up to you. You can leave it as is or puree up to half of your soup. I prefer somewhere in between; I puree about 20-30% of the soup to add some creaminess while not losing the chunkiness from the veggies. You can use your immersion blender, instead of the regular blender, if desired. Return the pureed soup back to the pot.

5

Feel free to add no cream at all or add a little bit of cream, half and half or milk at this time. I prefer to ladle the soup into the individual bowls and stir in a couple of teaspoons or so of half and half, and gently swirl it, just to add a bit of creaminess and richness.

6

Garnish with parsley and shredded cheese and serve.

Note:
7

This soup tastes delicious without any stock. Feel free to simply use water without compromising the results.

You can turn this into bacon corn chowder. In step 3, start by cooking 1/2 lb bacon cut into 3/4 inch chunks over medium heat while constantly stirring until crisp. Remove to a plate and reserve for later. The rendered bacon fat should equal 3 TBSP and replace the oil called for in the recipe. If there's less fat than needed - add more oil; if there's more fat than needed - discard some. Proceed to the rest of step 3.

Add the reserved crispy bacon as garnish on top of each individual bowl of soup.

Ingredients

 4-6 ears of corn
 3 tbsp oil
 1 yellow onion, diced finely
 4 stalks of celery, diced finely
 2 carrots, peeled and diced finely
 1 bell pepper, small dice
 1-2 Russet potatoes, diced in about 1/2" cubes
 ¼ cup flour
 1 bay leaf
 6 cups chicken broth or water, plus more as needed (I use water for cleaner taste)
 pinch of red pepper flakes
 ¼ cup milk, half and half or heavy cream (less or more to taste)
 salt and pepper to taste
 Parsley or Green onions, for garnish
 Shredded cheese, for garnish, optional

Directions

1

Cut off the kernels from the cobs and reserve. With the dull side of the knife, try to extract as much "corn milk" that's left behind on the cob as possible.

Break the cobs in half, place in a pot, fill with about 6 cups of water or stock (see note,) add a pinch of red pepper flakes and a bay leaf. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. You can simmer for longer, if desired, the flavour will just keep intensifying. Be sure to strain this simmering liquid before adding in step 3. At that point, discard cobs and the bay leaf.

2

In the meantime, chop up all your veggies.

3

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot or a Dutch oven. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook for 7-10 minutes until soft, fragrant and just beginning to brown, but have not browned. Add bell peppers, if using, and cook for another minute or two. Sprinkle flour and cook for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste, stirring constantly. Pour in about 1/2 cup strained simmering liquid. Stir vigorously to work out any lumps and ensure the flour is well incorporated and the liquid thickens. Slowly pour in the rest of the liquid while stirring and working out any lumps. Add potatoes and corn at this point. Add enough liquid to just barely cover your veggies (if they are already covered, do not add anymore, I ended up adding another 3/4 cup water.) Remember, it's always easier to thin out the soup with more liquid later, so be sure not to add too much (again, just barely cover the veggies with the liquid, that's it!)

4

Bring your soup to boil, reduce to simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Check to make sure your potatoes and corn kernels are soft. Continue simmering until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Taste the soup and season to taste with a good pinch of kosher salt and pepper. When you are happy with the consistency - transfer 0-50% of your soup to the blender. The proportion of the soup you are going to puree is up to you. You can leave it as is or puree up to half of your soup. I prefer somewhere in between; I puree about 20-30% of the soup to add some creaminess while not losing the chunkiness from the veggies. You can use your immersion blender, instead of the regular blender, if desired. Return the pureed soup back to the pot.

5

Feel free to add no cream at all or add a little bit of cream, half and half or milk at this time. I prefer to ladle the soup into the individual bowls and stir in a couple of teaspoons or so of half and half, and gently swirl it, just to add a bit of creaminess and richness.

6

Garnish with parsley and shredded cheese and serve.

Note:
7

This soup tastes delicious without any stock. Feel free to simply use water without compromising the results.

You can turn this into bacon corn chowder. In step 3, start by cooking 1/2 lb bacon cut into 3/4 inch chunks over medium heat while constantly stirring until crisp. Remove to a plate and reserve for later. The rendered bacon fat should equal 3 TBSP and replace the oil called for in the recipe. If there's less fat than needed - add more oil; if there's more fat than needed - discard some. Proceed to the rest of step 3.

Add the reserved crispy bacon as garnish on top of each individual bowl of soup.

Corn chowder

Make it Vegetarian: replace chicken stock with vegetable stock or water. Do not make bacon variation.

Make it Vegan: replace chicken stock with vegetable stock or water. Omit milk, cream, half and half and cheese. Do not make bacon variation.

Make it Gluten-Free: replace flour with good-quality all purpose gluten free flour, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free, including your stock and bacon, if using.

Make it Dairy-Free: replace milk/half and half/cream with more vegetable stock or acceptable milk alternative, do not add cheese.

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