Sweet-Corn Chowder with Tomato Salsa





Gary and I attended a Potluck Heaven party at our friends Lauren and Jason’s this past weekend to honor Forage, our community seed-saving garden. We had slow-cooked pork, jambalaya with local sausage and shrimp, chocolate tortes, and so many vegetables from everyone’s garden: beets, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, you name it. (To these events, our Forage friends bring their A-game.)

I made cold corn chowder from good Iowa sweet-corn grown and brought from home. Since sweet-corn season is around the corner, I figured it’s okay to eat the last of it from the freezer. Our tomatoes in our Florida garden are just becoming ripe; they accompanied the salsa well. I added our pickled jalapeños as a garnish along with the bacon.

I amended this recipe from Summer Miller’s New Prairie Kitchen which I found out about when I heard her interviewed on NPR. Believe me when I say this Midwestern girl knows how to make sweet-corn shine; Ms. Miller’s recipe below is good enough to bathe in.


Salsa ingredients:
1 poblano chile
1 jalapeño, chopped
2 large ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 large heirloom tomato, seeded and chopped
3 T olive oil
1/2 chopped red onion
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Chowder ingredients:
4 c chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 T olive oil
8 large ears sweet-corn, kernels cut from cob
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 ½ c heavy cream
5 T cornstarch
5 T cold water
10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled


To make the salsa:
First, preheat the broiler. Place the poblano on a baking sheet and roast under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, rotate the chile once the skin starts to blacken, about every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, add the corn kernels, tomato, olive oil, onion, cilantro, S&P, garlic, lemon juice, and jalapeño.

Once the poblano is cool to the touch, the blistered and blackened skin should pull off easily. Remove and discard the skin, seeds, and stem. Chop the poblano and add it to the bowl with the corn mixture. Stir, then refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To make the chowder:
In a large pot, add the oil and heat to medium-high. Saute the onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped corn and rosemary, and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add the stock, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Purée approximately ½ of the chowder using an immersion blender, or in batches if using a blender, returning the puréed portion to the pot. Add the cream and bring the chowder to a simmer over low heat.

Mix the cornstarch and cold water together in a small cup, then add this mixture to the chowder while it is simmering. Stir to thicken. Season to taste with the S&P. To serve, divide the chowder among bowls. Top each bowl with some of the corn salsa, pickled jalapeños, and crumbled bacon. It can be served hot, room temperature, or cold.


  • Summer

    I’m so glad you like the Sweet Corn Chowder. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. It’s one of my favorite soups too. Your photos are stunning.

    • annaheineman

      Thanks so much, Summer! Hailing from Iowa, I’m always happy when people make the Midwest shine. Thank you for writing your beautiful book and sharing your recipes!

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