This creamy corn chowder is easy, warming and gluten free. Sweet corn, salty crispy bacon, nutty new potatoes all in a thick and creamy soup base with lots of fresh parsley on top. The perfect soup for all year round.
I'm prone to making thick and hearty soups like this creamy seafood chowder, or this hearty lentil soup. These soups stick to your ribs. But often they achieve their thick robust texure from having flour added at the beginning of the cooking process.
This gluten free corn chowder is thickened simply from the starch of the potatoes and letting the soup simmer for long enough that it reduces enough to give you the perfect thick and creamy consistency. No flour. At all. It isn't required to get that thick and creamy texture that chowder is famous for!
Why This Recipe Works
- The starch from the potatoes works to thicken the soup so no flour is needed.
- The saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the corn create a soup that is hearty but still light enough for spring and summer.
- Carrot, celery and onion not only add extra flavour, but are an extra helping of veggies.
- You can use fresh or frozen corn for this recipe interchangeably without needing to make any adjustments.
- sweetcorn- fresh or frozen both work
- bacon or pancetta lardons- I prefer to use smoked, but you can use unsmoked too.
- onion- brown/yellow. You can also use a big white onion (use ½). They tend to be much sweeter but are usually only available in the summer.
- potatoes- I've use mini potatoes (new potatoes) for this recipe but any starchy potato like a Yukon gold will work here.
- vegetable stock- chicken stock works too. I think using a cube brings more flavour than using a fresh stock. But you can use whichever you prefer.
- cream- double cream in the UK or heavy cream in the US.
- parsley for serving
- Salt, pepper, butter or margarine. You can use olive oil if you prefer.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1 & 2
- Add some olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot. Once the oil is hot, it will shimmer, add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pot and drain on some kitchen paper.
- *Depending on the amount of fat rendered from the bacon you can drain some of it away or keep it all. I tend to keep all the fat. This recipe makes a large pot and the fat won't make much difference to the overall calories.
Step 3 & 4
- Add the onion and to the pan and saute in the bacon fat until the onions are soft and translucent. *Adding some salt at the beginning will help to soften the onions by helping them to release the water they contain.
- Using a wooden spoon scrape the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the celery, onion, sweetcorn and potatoes. Mix well.
Step 4 & 5
- Make the vegetable stock using the stock cube and pour into the soup pot. Bring the stock up to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
- Continue to simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender. This should take between 8-12 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
* For new potatoes or mini potatoes I cut them into quarters and it took about 10 minutes until they were tender. Remember, you want the potatoes to hold their shape not break apart.
- Once the potatoes are tender remove the pot from the heat and slowly pour in the cream. If the cream is added too quickly it may split due to the heat of the soup. Add the bacon back to the soup and stir.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped parsley.
Corn Chowder: FAQ
I like the sweet nuttiness of new or mini potatoes (and their tender skin means no peeling!) but you can use something like a Yukon gold or a yellow potato. Red skin potatoes also work and bring some nice colour if you skip the peeling process.
About 2.5 cm/ 1 inch cubed is good. That way they are still bite sized and cook in the 8-12 minute time range. It's
If you'd like a thicker chowder after you've added the cream, simply mix it well and continue to gently simmer with the lid off the pot until the desired consistency is reached. Some of the extra liquid will evaporate giving you the perfect consistency.
Substitutions & Variations
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don't fake it - only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Spicy - a dash or two of cajun spice or cayenne pepper will bring out the heat. And you can top with some jalapeno slices.
- Cheesy - stir in about 30g (½ cup) of sharp cheddar cheese to give you a cheesy corn chowder.
- Vegetarian - skip the bacon and carry on with the recipe as usual.
You can also check out this baked potato soup which is amazing!
You don't need any special equipment for this recipe but here's what I used in case you need some recommendations or are looking for some new pieces for you kitchen.
- Cast iron soup pot
- Set of cooking utensils- this set includes a slotted spoon, spatula and a spoonula!
- chopping board
Store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat simply place in the microwave on medium and heat in 15 second intervals or in a sauce pan on the hob until hot all the way through.
- Pour the cream in to the soup off the heat to prevent the cream from splitting.
- If using frozen corn there is no need to thaw it first. Just add it in frozen.
- Cut all the potatoes to roughly the same size to ensure all the chunks cook at the same time.
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The Best Corn Chowder- Gluten Free
- 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
- 250 g frozen sweetcorn *see notes
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 300 g baby new potatoes, cut in half or quartered depending on size
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 750 ml vegetable or chicken stock, made with a stock cube
- 500 ml double cream
- ½ bunch chopped parsley
- 1 green jalapeno, finely chopped
- 75 g pancetta
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. If using, add the pancetta to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes until the lardons are golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove the pancetta from the pan and place in a bowl lined with some kitchen paper to absorb some of the fat. If not using pancetta simply sweat the onions and vegetables in the butter and carry on with the recipe as instructed.
- Add in the diced onion, garlic, celery, carrot and jalepeno (if using). Sweat in the butter for 3-5 minutes until softened.
- Mix in the corn and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the stock into the pot and simmer covered over medium heat for 8-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat and pour in the cream. Stir in the parsley and add the pancetta back into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Once the cream is mixed into the chowder you can place it back on the heat if you need to. Divide into bowls and serve with fresh bread.