Even though Abby Slutsky owns a bakery business, she likes to find a balance between nutritional foods, interesting side dishes, and sweets.
I love to make this corn chowder recipe when the weather starts to turn cold. It is one of my favorite afternoon snacks; it has just enough sweetness to keep me from raiding my never-ending supply of chocolate chip morsels. (Yes, I have that baking business. It is dangerous for the waistline.)
This soup is rich and delicious. The creamy texture is more filling than a thin broth-based soup. Unlike cream-based chowders, it has a slight thickness that does not feel heavy because it contains very little cream.
This corn chowder is also a terrific way to use up scraps of rotisserie chicken or leftovers from a chicken you have made. I usually make this recipe without a kick, but I have included a spicier variation at the bottom of the page, if you prefer it. No matter how you prepare this delicious chowder, there is no doubt that you will enjoy it.
For this soup, as well as many other soups that I make, I use bouillon chicken broth starter as a base. I usually use the sodium-free Herb Ox packets because I like to control the amount of salt I put in my homemade soups. I think it dissolves best in hot or boiling water. I turn out so many delicious soups with these simple packets of chicken broth, that I feel this wonderful ingredient is an essential item in every pantry.
Origin of Chowders
Many articles indicate that chowder historically comes from a French cauldron-like pot known as a chaudiere. These containers were used on ships in the 1800s for fish chowders. "The History of Corn Chowder," an article produced by The Kitchen Project, indicates that a Native American influence is responsible for using corn in chowder. The corn imparts a sweetness to the thick broth that makes if flavorful.
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- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 1 medium Idaho potato, peeled, diced medium
- 2 cups + 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 large carrot, peeled, sliced into half rounds
- 1 large celery stalk, sliced into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream of corn
- 1 tablespoon milk, skim, non-fat, or whole
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 sprigs fresh dill, minced
- 3/4 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup leftover chicken, cut in small pieces
- I like to peel and chop my vegetables before I start any other cooking steps. This way everything is ready to add immediately.
- I usually make this in a medium-sized pot.
- This soup thickens quite a bit as it cools. Add a little water or milk if you use it after it is refrigerated. Add a tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency you prefer (probably 2 or 3 tablespoons).
- Melt the butter over low heat and add the onion. Stir for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the cornstarch to the onion mixture, and stir it until the cornstarch starts to absorb into the butter. Gradually add the 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and stir the mixture until it thickens slightly.
- Add the remaining chicken broth and the potatoes to the mixture. Turn the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining chopped, fresh vegetables and the cream of corn. Cook another 10 minutes.
- Next, add the spices, dill, cream, and milk to the mixture. You can also add the frozen corn and chicken.
- Cook the soup for another 15 minutes or until the potatos are soft.
You can modify this recipe to your taste. Here are some of my favorite variations.
- Make it spicy: Ramp up the heat in this chowder by adding an extra teaspoon of hot pepper flakes and a dash of tabasco sauce.
- Protein substitutions: Eliminate the chicken and substitute salmon, or turn this soup into a vegetarian entree by eliminating the protein.
- Crispy bacon garnish: Top the chowder with crispy bacon bits.
- Cheesy topping: Try adding shredded cheese to this corn chowder.
This chowder pairs beautifully with a simple salad, slice of quiche, or a sandwich, but I also use it as a first course when I make a light entree, such as fish.
If you want to have it as your main course, try serving it with cornbread, crackers, or fresh rolls.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky