Corn chowder is one of my favorite early fall soups. Fresh, late summer corn can be used to create a tasty, thick and delicious chowder. Bacon, cheddar cheese, potatoes, and peppers can all be added to enhance this hearty meal. If you've never made chowder before, definitely give the easy recipe a try. You'll find homemade soups are super satisfying and simple to put together — all you need is time. To give one, or both, of these chowders a taste,

Beginner Corn Chowder
From Martha Stewart
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4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3/4 cup)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
3 ears yellow corn, kernels removed (about 2 1/2 cups)
5 ounces small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 poblano chile, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups half-and-half

  1. Place bacon in a small stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is deep golden brown and all the fat has been rendered, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, then transfer to paper towels to drain, and set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat.
  2. Add diced onion, celery, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to stockpot; cook over medium-low heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Add corn, potato slices, and poblano chile; cook until potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard thyme.
  4. Add half-and-half, and simmer until soup is hot.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into soup bowls, and garnish with bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Expert Corn Chowder
From Bobby Flay
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4 (2 pound) lobsters, steamed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups roasted corn kernels, cobs reserved *see Cook's note
4 to 5 cups lobster stock
3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
3 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus leaves for garnish
Roasted Corn and Green Chile Relish, recipe follows

  1. *Cook's note: to roast corn: Remove the silks from the corn, but leave the husks on. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Remove corn from water, place on baking sheets and roast in the oven until tender and slightly charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove husks and kernels and place kernels in a bowl. You can also do this on a grill.
  4. To make the chowder: Remove the claws from the lobsters. Carefully crack the claws and try to remove the meat in 1 piece and set aside for garnish. Remove the tail meat and chop into 1-inch chunks and set aside in the refrigerator. Reserve the shells.
  5. Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat; add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  6. Increase heat to high, add the wine, lobster shells, and corn cobs and cook until completely reduced. Add 4 cups of the lobster stock and bring to a boil.
  7. Add 2 cups of the corn and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lobster shells and corn cobs.
  8. Transfer the soup to a food processor and process until smooth. Strain into a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  9. Stir in the lobster meat, remaining 1 cup of roasted corn kernels and green chiles and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Place heavy cream in a medium saucepan and reduce by half. Add the reduced cream to the chowder and stir until combined, if the chowder appears too thick, add some of the remaining lobster stock to thinly slightly.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cilantro. Ladle into bowls and top with a few tablespoons of relish, a lobster claw and fresh cilantro leaves.

Serves 8.

Roasted Corn and Green Chile Relish:

4 ears fresh corn, silks removed but husks left on, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
1 large poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Remove corn from water, place on baking sheets and roast in the oven until tender and slightly charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove husks and kernels and place kernels in a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Let relish sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.