Hearty Corn Chowder

This morning I received an email from a reader who very politely let me know I had left out potatoes in my list of ingredients when I posted this corn chowder recipe over on PortlandPeeps. My bad! Her message made me realize my omission of soups here on CookingFever. Soup is one of my favorites on cold winter days. Soups are the smoothies of winter. So many healthy ingredients can be added to one dish. You may just be looking for some hearty soup recipes for this holiday season, so I’ll be posting a few of my favorites.

What’s the difference between corn soup and corn chowder?

The main distinction between corn soup and corn chowder lies in their texture and thickness. Corn soup is typically a light and brothy soup that’s flavored with corn and other vegetables or spices. On the other hand, corn chowder is much richer and thicker, thanks to the addition of cream or milk and often contains potatoes.

Chowders are a type of hearty soup that is known for its chunky texture and ingredients. Unlike regular soups that can have a smooth or blended consistency, chowders have a thick, creamy base that’s often made with milk or cream. The vegetables and other ingredients in chowders are typically left in large chunks, giving the dish a satisfying texture and hearty flavor.

When it comes to corn soup, it’s usually made with a clear broth or stock, with small pieces of corn and other vegetables added in. It can be served hot or cold, and the ingredients can be adjusted to suit personal preferences.

On the other hand, corn chowder usually contains larger pieces of corn, along with diced potatoes and other vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots. The creamy base of the chowder is what gives it its signature richness and thickness, and it’s often served hot as a comforting meal on a chilly day.

What do you eat with corn chowder?

There’s nothing quite like a classic grilled cheese sandwich to go with a bowl of creamy corn chowder. The combination of warm, gooey cheese and savory corn soup is a match made in heaven.

Another popular option is a BLT sandwich. The crisp bacon, fresh lettuce, and juicy tomato are the perfect contrast to the creamy, rich soup. For a lighter touch, a simple side salad can also be a refreshing accompaniment to corn chowder.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, consider serving smoked sausage alongside the soup. The smoky, savory flavor of the sausage pairs perfectly with the sweet corn flavor of the chowder.

For seafood lovers, grilled salmon is another great choice. The richness of the fish pairs well with the creaminess of the soup, and the delicate flavors of the salmon won’t overpower the corn chowder.

If you’re in the mood for something more indulgent, a ham and cheese sandwich is another classic pairing. The saltiness of the ham and the richness of the cheese balance out the sweetness of the corn, creating a perfect balance of flavors.

Last but not least, if you’re serving corn chowder for brunch or lunch, quiche can be a great side dish. The buttery pastry crust and rich filling of a quiche make it a decadent treat to enjoy alongside a steaming bowl of corn chowder.

Hearty Corn Chowder

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American


  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Medium sweet onions diced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 Teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 4 Cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 1 Celery rib thinly sliced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Cups frozen corn kernels
  • 5 Scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup milk or half and half if you want it richer
  • 1/4 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • Sour cream


  • In a large stockpot, combine the butter, olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the onions are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle with the paprika, stir, and cook for a minute.
  • Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, celery, bay leaf, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the corn and scallions and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Scoop out 2 cups of the chowder and set it aside. Puree the remainder (if you have an immersion blender, it comes in handy since you can puree directly in the pot of soup) and return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved chowder, milk, thyme and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot with a spoonful of sour cream on top.
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