Corn Chowder from a Vermont Kitchen

A hearty and creamy soup made with corn and potatoes, flavored with a bit of bacon.
By Carol Egbert

December was filled with weeks of holiday cooking. After gathering food to refill the fridge and pantry there were marathon sessions of mixing, stirring, slicing, dicing, creaming and blending. It’s time to make meals that are simple to prepare, have a limited number of ingredients and are even better the second time around. Chowder is one way to do that.

Chowder is any of a variety of soups, made with milk, often enriched with salt pork and thickened with flour. It has been around since the sixteenth century when it was considered “poor man’s fare”. The word chowder may come from the French chaudiere, a pot used by fishermen in France to make a hearty fish stew by cooking fish with milk and vegetables or it may come from jowter the Old English term for a person who sells fish.

Made with bacon, potatoes, corn and milk, the soup I made was chowder without fish because the fish closest to my kitchen was a twenty minute drive through the snow and eliminating trips to the market is part of my new resolve.  Here’s how I made it:

Corn Chowder from a Vermont Kitchen
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
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A hearty and creamy soup made with corn and potatoes, flavored with a bit of bacon.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ pound (225 g) bacon, cut in ½ inch strips
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 pound (450 g) boiling potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound (450 g) frozen sweet corn
  • 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in large stockpot over medium heat until the fat has rendered, about ten minutes. Add onions to the pot and saute until they are translucent, stir in one heaping tablespoon of flour.
  2. After the flour has cooked for 2 minutes, stir in water and yellow potatoes. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender, add corn kernels and bouillon cube. Heat the soup, without boiling, and simmer for 5 minutes to cook corn.
  3. Top each serving with parsley and black pepper.
Notes
To make a vegetarian version use 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter instead of bacon, to make a gluten free version - omit the flour and serve saltines that may be crumbled into the soup to thicken it. Corn chowder is transformed into fish chowder by adding, after the potatoes are tender, three quarters of a pound of mild white fish, cod or haddock, cut into one inch chunks. Simmer the soup until the fish is cooked, about five minutes. To make clam chowder - replace corn with two 8 ounce tins of clams and the replace the water with clam juice.

 

Carol Egbert

Carol Egbert is a writer, painter, graphic designer and cook. Her studio is on a country lane in rural Vermont. During mud season she escapes, for a couple of months, to a flat in Sicily overlooking the Ionia Sea. Her newspaper columns, magazine articles and blog are illustrated with her watercolor paintings – Honest Cooking means beautiful food.

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