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Recipe: Sweet Corn Chowder

Two yellow ears of corn surrounded by their husks and silks

Sweet Corn Chowder

By Lucia Watson, chef and author

We make this creamy chowder when the corn is so fresh and sweet that the farmers at market give away samples to eat just off the cob. It really doesn’t need to be cooked. If using fresh corn on the cob, scrape off and reserve the kernels, then add the cobs to the stock. Just before serving, remove the cobs and add the corn kernels. Garnish with bits of bacon and freshly chopped parsley.

Serves 8 to 10


  • 4 ounces bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • ½ red and ½ green pepper, cored and chopped
  • 4–5 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked, with corn kernels cut from the cob (about 3 cups kernels)—save the cobs to enrich the stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


In a large saucepan, sauté the bacon until crisp, but be careful not to burn it.

Remove bacon, drain on paper towels, and chop.

Add the onion and celery to the pan and sauté in the bacon fat until soft.

Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes, chicken stock, and bay leaf (and corn cobs if you are using them), and bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove the corn cobs, add the milk, and be careful not to let the soup boil again since it might separate.

Stir in the chopped red and green peppers, corn kernels, and salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve garnished with the bacon and chopped fresh parsley.