A Sweet & Spicy Chowder for All That Summer Corn

July  3, 2018

As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some good-as-gold recipes. Today, we're highlighting a sweet and spicy celebration of summer corn from longtime community member NancyJo.

Honestly, the purists have a point. Corn on the cob swooshed with butter, juicy tomatoes sprinkled with salt, plump and waxy green beans brightened with lemon—summer produce shines when it’s fresh and unfussy.

But there are exceptions to every rule, and we’re willing to turn on the stove for NancyJo’s Summer Corn Chowder.

NancyJo discovered a version of this recipe in a 1990 issue of Food & Wine, but shared her slightly spicier twist with us in 2009. We’ve been hooked ever since.

“This is an earthy, moody corn chowder that alternates between sweet and hot,” wrote Amanda and Merrill when they first tested it. “We were intrigued by the technique of cooking the vegetables in their own juices before adding milk and cream, which seems to intensify all the flavors.”

That’s right, the summery soup gets its depth of flavor not only from kernels, but also from scraping the cobs with the back of a knife to get all the “milk.” And for even more bite, roast your poblano peppers before adding them to the pot, like community member vivienne:

I have been making this since I first saw it on Food52. So awesome and have shared it with many. I've done a number of variations. Best one is to blister/roast/peel the poblano pepper.....whole new level of flavor. If you never cook any other recipe from FOOD52, COOK THIS ONE!!!!

You heard her: Grab your pot and get cooking.

What's your favorite way to eat summer corn? Share recipes in the comments below—we're all ears.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lydia M. Gordon
    Lydia M. Gordon
  • Bethany Powell
    Bethany Powell
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Lydia M. October 10, 2022
My mother was born and raised in New England, where chowder was king. We city children spent our summers on my grandfather's farm in NH. My grandfather would go clamming and we'd have clam chowder; my grandfather would pick his deliciously sweet corn, and we'd have corn chowder. I miss the chowders. Does anyone make chowder any more.
Bethany P. July 4, 2021
This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it at least once per summer ever since I discovered it several years back on Food52. This year since the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, I’m switching things up and making this recipe for Sunday night dinner. It takes a bit of chopping time up front but then comes together very quickly. I usually just eyeball the half and half until it’s to a good consistency, otherwise I follow the recipe as written. Enjoy!