Family Recipes and Memories: Fall Corn Chowder

Fall Corn Chowder

My fall corn chowder was created after trying another recipe but adapting it to my taste and my way. In as I have only made it in the fall… hence the name Fall Corn Chowder. I’m not a soup person in the summer, but once fall comes I’m looking to simmer a pot of soup on the stove. I love corn but had never had a corn chowder before and after eating it just once…. well I knew it was going to become a family favorite! I’m posting the original recipe at the end in case you’d like to add the optional ingredients I chose to leave out, so do check out the original recipe link at the end of my recipe.

corn chowder

Fall Corn Chowder


8 ears fresh corn – I use either white or sugar and butter for a sweet taste: cut kernels off cob and scrape cob (opt.) for the extra goodness

3 Tbsp butter... a bit more never hurts

5  or 6 slices bacon – cut into bite size pieces: I use my kitchen scissors (so much easier)

1 cup half and half – can also use 3/4 cup light cream and dilute with milk to make 1 cup

1 medium Vidalia onion chopped small (1 cup abt) Can substitute yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced tiny (if you want more… feel free)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour – be sure and cook the flour as specified in directions

5 cups water… sometimes you might need a bit more – judge (I bet chicken stock would add extra flavor)

1 lb potatoes – cut into bite-size pieces: I used new potatoes and added more!

Salt and pepper to taste – season along as it cooks

Optional at the end – shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled in your bowl.

The cut kernels  –  and the onions and bacon simmering in pot


Prep corn before beginning: Hubby always shucks the corn for me… what a timesaver! If you have a deep baking pan (4×12 abt) you can use it to cut your corn kernels off the cob. If you’ve never cut kernels off the cob before…. be careful with that sharp knife… you don’t want a visit to the ER! After slicing down the cob with my sharpest knife, I also scrape the cob with a big tablespoon to save all the sweet pulp. Being from the South, I know how to cut kernels and scrape a corn cob, but if you’ve never done it before you might want to give the video a peek. I chose America’s Test Kitchen for the cutting part to show you, although it’s not how I do it… it looks like a good way for a beginner.  It’s not hard, so don’t let it intimidate you! (You don’t have to scrape the corn cobs as I did, so don’t stress yourself out over it)

I have always cut my kernels off the old fashioned way…. very tiring process… until recently when I purchased a corn cutter from Pampered Chef: it works fantastic! I’ve also seen a new one over on YouTube called OXO Corn Peeler… and it works just as good, so if you’re interested in buying one I’m suggesting these… or just go the old-fashioned route like me; I was too lazy this morning to go searching for mine.

After corn is cut… the biggest part is over!

Place butter in a large 5-quart pot over low heat and allow to slowly melt, don’t burn. Add the chopped onions and bacon and begin cooking, stirring frequently so the bacon and onions don’t burn… stir until the bacon just begins to brown a bit on the edges. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes or so. Now add your flour and minced garlic and cook about 1 – 2 minutes… stir constantly. When stirring flour into a recipe, it must be cooked a minute or so… otherwise, your recipe will have a flour taste… flour must always be cooked!

Pour in 5 cups water, while whisking, then bring the mixture to a quick boil. Continue to stir now with a wooden spoon, adding the corn kernels and potatoes and then turn down to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, but you’ll have to adjust it along the way, and also at the end… as any cook knows! I like to simmer the chowder until my potatoes are cooked… and you’ll know when they are cooked, about 20-25 minutes or so.


Remove about 2 1/2 cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. I often just use my hand blender in a deep mixing bowl. Pour the mixture back into your chowder and stir well with wooden spoon. I tend to let my soup simmer on my lowest setting so I cook it longer than the 20-25 minutes I mentioned above. There’s no set rule, just how you’d like to make it. I think the flavors meld together more by simmering longer.Turn heat off now, as you are going to pour in your half and

Once you’ve decided “chowder” is ready…. turn the heat off and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before you pour in the “final” ingredient of half and half... you don’t want it to curdle! Slowly pour in the half and half, while continuing to stir… you want to temper it into the hot soup. If you aren’t in a rush… let it sit for awhile so there is no chance of having it curdle while adding the half and half. After all that hard work, you don’t want to ruin it at the end!

The original recipe called for 1 Tblsp. honey, but in my first batch I made, I omitted several of the ingredients called for like honey, thyme, bay leaf and chives, but if these are ingredients you like, then add, check out the original recipe… Summer Corn Chowder.

I never hesitate to use creative license in changing up a recipe and turning it into my own, either adding new ingredients… or omitting what I don’t like… or cooking it differently. My husband always questions me on that saying, “but it calls for it,” and my answer is always, “but I don’t like it and I’m not adding it!” He just walks away shaking his head. While he will follow, or try to follow a recipe… me, I’m not afraid to leave ingredients out; but that only applies to cooking, not baking. Baking is more concise and certain ingredients need to be in proportion with others for the final outcome to be eatable! Soup doesn’t really apply to those guidelines!

My husband was always a baker, baking cakes… After his retirement, I began working full-time, and slowly taught him how to cook all his favorites. Dinner was always waiting for me when I arrived home! Reading my cookbook was a challenge for him in the beginning and I’d receive calls during the day asking, “what does opt. mean, or what does pot. mean?” I thought everyone knew that opt. was the abbreviation for optional! And who doesn’t know that pot. means potatoes! LOL…  Well, he didn’t!

Take a moment and sit down and look through your recipe’s… and laugh at all your scribbles that probably only you can decipher! I make so many notes on my recipe pages as to what worked, and what didn’t, or which pan cooked it better in… or even who’s favorite recipe it is. A cookbook filled with scribbles and food splatters are truly an heirloom and my daughter has already laid claim to mine!

I’d love to hear from you if you make this, but do hurry along as corn season is dwindling fast. If you add the optional ingredients I didn’t, let me hear how you liked them!

P.S. I froze a few containers for those cold winter months…. and I’ve already thawed out one… just to test it out! It thawed out just fine… although the potatoes were a little mushy, but, that was ok! The corn was still super sweet and had just the right amount of crunch!


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© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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8 Responses to Family Recipes and Memories: Fall Corn Chowder

  1. Luanne @ TFK says:

    So it really doesn’t have dairy in it? or am I reading it wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

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