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A Sweet & Spicy Chowder for All That Summer Corn

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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.

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“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.

Summer Corn Chowder

Summer Corn Chowder

Nancy Jo Nancy Jo
Serves 6
  • 6 medium ears of corn
  • 6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium poblano, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium boiling potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 cups light cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
Go to Recipe

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

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Corn, Summer, Community