All this timely sweet corn is just ripe for making chowder

  • Summer corn cowder.

      Summer corn cowder. M. Eillen Brown | Staff Photographer

Posted8/5/2020 6:00 AM

I have big plans for the fresh corn I buy during the summer -- salads, soups, relishes, risotto, all kinds of possibilities.

It's going to be cornapalooza at my house.


But then, well, you know what happens.

I grill or boil or sometimes even nuke it, slather it in butter and dive right in.

What could possibly be more perfect than corn on the cob? Why would I want to do anything to alter one of life's great summer pleasures?

So, it was with little trepidation that I took six beautiful ears of corn from the farmers market and decided to turn them into soup. Maybe it was the cherry tomatoes or the fresh basil or even the lime juice that tempted me.

Honestly, though, I think it was the idea of putting the cobs in the broth that got to me. The recipe calls for simmering the cobs in the broth with onions, garlic and potatoes and then pulling them out.

Corn stock! I am not quite sure why I never tried this before, but the results are a savory, slightly sweet, summery broth. It works beautifully as part of this recipe, but, on its own, corn stock would be a wonderful base for any number of soups or risottos. (I think this would be fantastic with polenta.)

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There are all kinds of possibilities. Just think, you can eat your corn (cut off the cob, of course) and have your risotto, too.

• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's director of strategic marketing and innovation and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at

Summer corn cowder.
  Summer corn cowder. - M. Eillen Brown | Staff Photographer
Corn Stock

Corn cobs (at least 4), shucked with corn cut off

Enough water to cover the cobs

3 smashed garlic cloves, skins still on

2 teaspoons of salt

1 bay leaf

Add everything to a big stock pot (or pressure cooker) with enough water to just cover the cobs. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for at least two hours. If you're using a pressure cooker, cook under high pressure for 45 minutes.

Summer Corn Chowder

6 ears corn, shucked

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 teaspoons salt

1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

cup chopped fresh basil

Juice of lime


Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving

Slice corn kernels off cob and place in a bowl. Reserve cobs. In a medium soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, reserved cobs, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove cobs and discard. Stir in corn kernels, tomatoes, remaining teaspoon salt, and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes more. Stir in the basil and lime juice. Turn off heat and let soup cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm and top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Serves 6

Adapted from The New York Times

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