Potato Corn Chowder with Kale and Bacon

Soup and Stew | 17 comments

I mentioned that last week our weather took a turn towards fall. The cool temperature and constant drizzle quickly convinced me that soup was the only viable option for dinner. But what to make? I was craving something new rather than many of our favorite standby soup recipes.

The previous weekend we had taken a trip to the Boulder County Farmer’s Market on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Corn was “stuff a bag for $6.” We came home with loads and loads of summer corn and no real plans for it other than to enjoy it slathered with butter straight off the cob. But we happened to have just enough corn leftover for a batch of Corn Chowder.

corn chowder potato corn chowder with kale and bacon

After the realization that dinner would be something fantastic, I quickly turned to two of my favorite sources: How to Cook Everything and Soups, Stews & Chilis to see if I even had the rest of the ingredients.

I used these recipes for Corn Chowder more as a guide than anything else. Taking a little bit from each and adding a little bit of my own ideas, like the chopped kale. I kept things a little lighter by using whole milk rather than cream or half and half, though I’ll assure you this soup is still very rich tasting.

I liked the idea of roasting the corn for the chowder and detailed in How to Cook Everything. Roasting always brings out so much flavor in the ingredients.

corn chowder potato corn chowder with kale and bacon

I prepared a batch of Whole Wheat Dinner rolls from Sarabeth’s Bakery. I realized just after I had added the yeast to the warm water that I had used the very last of the butter in the soup and we didn’t have any extra hiding out in our garage freezer. For a moment I thought I was doomed (as Logan would say).

I called a few friends and no one was home. So I hopped into the car and made a dash for the neighborhood 7-11 where I bought some extremely overpriced butter, but nonetheless saved the day. The rolls and soup were a hit for dinner and perfect on that chilly drizzly day.

More Great Corn Recipes:

Soft Tacos With Chicken and Tomato-Corn Salsa | GoodLife Eats
Late Summer Grilled Corn Salsa | Bev Cooks
Caramelized Corn and Black Bean Tacos | Closet Cooking
Spicy Corn Fritters Recipe | Simply Recipes

Potato Corn Chowder with Kale and Bacon

Yield: serves 6

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5 ears sweet corn, shucked
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 - 2 cups chicken broth
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
dash cayenne pepper
dash nutmeg
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
cooked bacon, crumbled - for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub the shucked corn with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning frequently, for about 20-30 minutes - or until the kernels start to brown. Remove from the oven and cool until safe to handle.

When cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. (See this quick trick for cutting corn off the cob.)

Place the leftover cobs in a large pot with the 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Then, lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat, discard the cobs, and let the remaining liquid sit until you're ready to use your "corn broth" in the recipe.

In a deep pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute, until golden and tender, for about 3-5 minutes. Then, add the celery and garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture takes on a golden hue - just a couple minutes.

Whisk in the whole milk and the "corn broth" you saved from the previous step. Stir in the corn kernels and diced potatoes. Add as much of the chicken broth as you desire until your preferred chowder consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne and nutmeg.

Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer until the potatoes are tender. Just before serving stir in the kale. Garnish with crumbled bacon, or if desired, stir it straight into the soup.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Bev @ Bev Cooks - September 18, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Thaaaat looks amazing. And thank you for the link love!


  • 2
    Lori - September 18, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    This recipe looks absolutely yummy! I will definitely be trying this one! Looking forward to having wheat rolls with this.


  • 3
    Kristen - September 19, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    Looks amazing, Katie! Yay for fall!


  • 4
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - September 19, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    I have a pathological fear of running out of butter. I literally buy a pound every time I go to the store, and toss it in the freezer.

    I want to eat this soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner today. It makes me sad I haven’t been able to get to our farmer’s market in over a month. Must make it a priority so I can make this soup!


  • 5
    Wendy - September 19, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    This recipe looks like the perfect fall dish. I love making all kinds of soups, and honestly, I eat them year-round. It looks like you have some more soup recipes, I’ll take a look. Thanks for the great work! :)


  • 6
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - September 19, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    Beautiful soup, Katie! I’m so excited for soups, stews and chili! Happy Fall!


  • 7
    Jenn - October 16, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    I’m surrounded by kale! Love me some chowda, but I never thought to put kale in it. I might just have to try this next time!


  • 8
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes - October 16, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    This looks so good! Can’t go wrong with bacon :)


  • 9
    Theresa - October 23, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    This looks very hearty and comforting. I don’t seem to be able to find Kale where I am though. Will try the recipe and replace the Kale with some other vegetable!

    Do visit my blog too and I invite you to subscribe if you find it interesting! :)


  • 10
    Jill - October 25, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

    Love potato corn chowder soup and that you added kale.


  • 11
    Emilie - November 05, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    This was delicious! I substituted spinach because I couldn’t find kale and it worked great!


  • 12
    Mia - November 08, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

    I was looking for a nice, rich corn chowder recipe, my search landed me to your blog.
    I tried the recipe today and O H. M Y. G O D.
    I made a few modifications, but it was preeeeeeetty much perfect!!! Thank you for sharing! :)


  • 13
    Jessica - January 08, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

    I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I wanted to say thank you for the delicious meal you just inspired! I made a few adjustments, main one being that I just used frozen corn and sauteed it in a little butter. Then just used a little more chicken stock to make up for the corn stock. I served mine with slices of french bread from a long loaf.
    My sister wants to try it with a ton of different variations including adding chicken, subbing spinach for kale, and/or subbing gnocchi for the potatoes. I can’t wait to try out more! Also we want to try and thicken it a little by adding some cheese.


  • 14
    Robin - February 01, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    I was looking for a main dish for Superbowl. This corn chowder sounds so delicious! I am not a big fan of kale but this a good way to add it in and not even know it’s there! Plus the kid won’t care. I also can imagine a variety of ways to make it with different ingredients.


  • 15
    Annie - October 27, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

    If I’m substituting frozen of canned corn, how much would I substitute? I know it won’t be exactly the same since I won’t be getting that roasted corn flavor but I still want to try it.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 28th, 2013 @ 10:37 AM

      I haven’t tried a substitution, but googled how many cups of corn per ear and came across an answer that says 3/4 cup per ear. I think frozen would work out better than canned. Good luck.

  • 16
    Annie Dugas - November 05, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

    just saw this, I’m always looking for great corn chowder recipes, as we are from south Louisiana, I always add crab or shrimp and our favorite Cajun seasoning. When I read that you bought your corn at the Boulder farmers market, I thought I’ve been there, lots of times, it’s terrific! My daughter and her family live in Louisville so I am out there a lot and we always hit the farmers market. Looking forward to following you! Annie Dugas


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