Photo by Derek Shapton


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Creamy Corn Chowder


At serving time, top this cheery soup with a small handful of popcorn, more fun and less work than predictable croutons. Just be sure to pop enough corn for snacking and sharing with the chickadees along the way. I prefer double-smoked bacon for this recipe; it has more smoky bang for the buck.

  • Serves: 8
  • Course: Lunch


  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 cans (each 14 oz/398 ml)  cream-style corn
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) corn kernels (canned, fresh, or frozen)
  • 3 cups (750 ml) 2% milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) 35% cream
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) turmeric powder (optional)
  • Popcorn to garnish (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, fry bacon until crisp. Reserve half of bacon, draining it on a paper towel. Tilt pan and push remaining bacon up the side. Using a sheet of paper towel and tongs, remove most of fat from pan, leaving about 1 tbsp (15 ml).
  2. Add onion and red pepper to bacon remaining in pan. Sauté until vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add stock and grated potato. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in cream-style corn, corn kernels, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend in cream, parsley, turmeric (if using), and reserved bacon. Gently heat through until almost, but not quite, boiling. Ladle into a preheated thermos (see Tips, below). To serve, top with a small handful of popcorn.
  6. Variations

    Meatless Corn Chowder

  7. Replace bacon with 3 cup (75 ml) diced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Skip Step 1, and sauté tomatoes, onion, and red pepper in 1 tbsp (15 ml) of oil from the tomatoes. Proceed with remaining steps; there’s no need to reserve any tomatoes.
  8. Creamy Corn and Crab Chowder
  9. Add 4 oz (12 g) lump crabmeat to chowder and cook until heated through. Pour immediately into a thermos.
  10. Tips
  11. - Preheat a thermos by filling with boiling water. Allow it to sit for at least 2 minutes, then drain.
  12. - Wide-mouthed funnels used for canning and preserving are ideal for transferring thick soups from saucepan to thermos. Look for them at the hardware store.
  13. - Omit tarragon, chervil, and green beans. Just before serving, toss potato mixture with 2 finely chopped green onions, 8 oz (250 g) of crumbled blue cheese, and ¼ lb (125 g) of bacon, cut into ½" (1 cm) strips and cooked. z Replace tarragon and chervil with a small, finely chopped clove of garlic and 2 finely chopped anchovies. Add 5 or 6 pitted and sliced black olives with green beans. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley before serving.

1 comment

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Feb. 21, 2013

11:33 am

The final paragraph in the Variations on Creamy Corn Chowder seems to be from some other recipe: "Omit potatoes, chervil"etc.

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