Originally I posted this Corn Chowder recipe as a way to use fresh corn which is so plentiful here in Iowa at the end of the summer. However, the other day as I was thinking about recipes that would be easy to make from pantry and freezer items I realized this would be an easy and delicious choice.
This recipe has been adapted from several church cookbooks in my vintage cookbook collection. Because I like my chowder a little lighter and not too thick — so I ended up adjusting the liquids, amount of corn (I like more) and salt. It is easy to adjust to a vegetarian version by using non-dairy products, vegetable broth, and veggie bacon, as well as, a chicken or ham corn chowder.
Here is the original recipe, I have posted substitutions and ideas to adapt the recipe below.
- 2 to 3 slices of bacon
- 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup to 1 can of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups red potatoes diced in small cubes -- rinse well to remove extra starch
- 4 to 6 ears of fresh uncooked sweet corn - cleaned and cut from the cob
- ½ cup to 1 can of evaporated milk
- Brown bacon in a large soup pot
- Remove when crisp -- reserve for topping
- Drain pan -- wipe out and return 2 TBSP of bacon fat or preferred fat to brown onions
- Saute onions until translucent.
- Add flour & butter or preferred fat -- stir and cook for about a minute -- don't brown.
- Add broth, water, and potatoes - simmer until potatoes are fork done -- 10 to 15 minutes -- don't overcook.
- Add corn and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- You can add some of the crumbled bacon to the soup or just add it to the top of each bowl.
- ***Note: If you start with the lowest amount of liquids you can add additional to obtain your desired thickness.
Substitutions and adaptions
Don’t worry about having everything ingredient as the recipe calls for — use the things you have. Here are a few suggestions, but whatever you have will work.
- If you don’t have any bacon, you can use oil or butter to sautee the onion.
- Salad bacon bits could be used as a topping when serving instead of real bacon
- Alternative toppings, chopped scallions, chives, croutons, crispy onions
- For additional protein, you could add up to a cup of diced chicken or ham — add a little stock or water as needed
- If you are saving your flour you can make a slurry to thicken with cornstarch and cold water – 1 TBS CS to 2 TBS Water
- Substitute fresh corn for frozen corn (about 3 cups) if you have it — if you used canned corn drain the water before adding. If you used creamed corn I would not use the slurry or flour to thicken.
- You can replace the evaporated milk with milk, 1/2 & 1/2, or cream — whatever you have
- If you want more veggies you can sautee diced carrots and celery with your onions — or add them when you are boiling the potatoes
- Any kind of potato will work, however red potatoes, Yukon gold, fingerlings, long white etc…will hold up better than russets and not get mushy in soups. If you do need to use russets I would not cook them as long to keep them more firm
- Don’t have any fresh potatoes — use some other root veggies — if you have them. Or not add flour or slurry and use a small amount (1/8 cup to 1/4 cup — start small and add if needed) of instant potatoes to get the potato flavor.
Stay safe, healthy and sane!