Life in the kitchen

Mellow Yellow Corn Chowder.


With Spring knocking on the door, we’re looking forward to new seasonal tastes and lots of colourful veggies – and we love sweetcorn, so let’s cook something new and different with it. Have you ever tried corn chowder? It’s not seen on a lot of menus in South Africa, but is very popular in the USA, very rewarding to make, and pretty easy too.

What’s chowder?

It’s a type of soup or stew often made with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers (like water biscuits) or crusty bread rolls which are served on the side and crumbled into the soup.

Brought to the USA by the French and English and seafarers in the 1800s, chowder comes in many forms, usually either seafood, fish or vegetable. A very popular dish in the USA is clam chowder, made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, and a cream and milk base. American cook books have lots of recipes for fish chowders and potato chowder, often made with cheese.

But we’re focusing on golden yellow sweetcorn this month, and we’re sharing a great corn chowder recipe that’s easy to make.

It’s rich, creamy and very filling – you won’t need a main course, maybe just a second helping, because it’s so more-ish. Bonus: there’s bacon in it, but if you don’t eat meat or bacon, it’s not an essential ingredient.
Here’s an American recipe for Corn Chowder, with a metric unit conversion option to make it easier. It uses milk instead of cream, but if you’d like to be indulgent, add some cream, for the real deal. Natures Garden Sweetcorn is a perfect substitute for fresh sweetcorn on the cob. Use about 4 level cupsful.


Serves 6


6 slices bacon, chopped

120ml finely chopped onion

60ml chopped celery

Bonus: there’s bacon in it!

475ml lower-sodium chicken broth, divided

800 ml fresh corn kernels, reserving 3 of the stripped cobs (6 to 8 medium ears corn)

450g unpeeled red potatoes, cubed (1/2 inch, about 3 cups)

30ml chopped fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

5 ml coarse salt

Shake of ground pepper

475 ml hot milk

Shake of hot pepper sauce


Fry bacon in large pot over medium heat for 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels; reserve bacon drippings in pot.

Add onion and celery to pot; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until almost translucent. Increase heat to high; add 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add reserved corn cobs, remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low.

Simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add milk and hot sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add corn kernels. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove and discard corn cobs and bay leaves.

Stir in bacon just before serving.


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