Michigan Corn Chowder

July 31, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

We had this soup at a small roadside café, near Lake Michigan and not far from the Indiana border. It's light yet satisfying, very flavorful, not at all heavy-handed with the cream, and so impressive that we asked our server about the recipe. Unfortunately, she told us that the chef "never tells anyone what he does in his kitchen"—so this is merely an attempt to recreate it. The secret, of course, is the subtle and unexpected tang of lemongrass. —sanscravat

Test Kitchen Notes

Sanscravat, in his attempt to recreate a corn chowder he enjoyed at a roadside café in Michigan, gives us a simple, direct easy to follow recipe. First the lemongrass cooks just long enough to infuse the stock, and then exits the scene. Enter the summer trifecta of vegetables. To make this chowder you cut up red peppers and onions very democratically the size of the corn kernels ... with a resulting rendition of a summer mirepoix or holy trinity, only better. The aroma and colors are more enchanting. Lastly, a tiny splash of cream and a fresh garnish of parsley: Pure, clear wonderful flavors of summer shine in your bowl. Thanks, sanscravat for your interpretation of this delicate summer chowder. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 1 quart good chicken stock
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded & chopped to size of corn kernels
  • 1 small onion chopped to size of corn kernels
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  1. Combine lemongrass and stock, simmer 20 minutes (until the stock is well-flavored). Strain the stock and reserve, discarding the lemongrass.
  2. Cut kernels from cobs, then scrape the cobs with the edge of a knife to extract all the milky fluid from the base of the kernels.
  3. Add corn (and liquid from the cobs), red pepper, and onions to stock, simmer until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add cream and parsley, adjust seasoning, and serve, garnished with a sprig of Italian parsley.
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7 Reviews

Maripat N. August 27, 2017
Great base soup! Sautéed the pepper and onion in bacon fat and added mash potatoes to thicken a bit! Most excellent!
edlogan August 21, 2017
Will this freeze well prior to step four?
Jimmy J. August 20, 2017
I'm going use this, but cook a chicken to make my stock and use the chicken in the chowder and use coconut milk, instead of heavy cream. Organic, naturally.
Deb H. August 16, 2017
What? No bacon? Hard to imagine corn chowder without it!
Jimmy J. August 20, 2017
Bacon rules.
Ms. T. August 22, 2011
Congratulations, this sounds delicious--the lemongrass is a brilliant touch.
Sagegreen August 18, 2011
I was really impressed by how wonderful this chowder is in its lightness and freshness. If you would like me to upload my photo of my bowl, let me know.