Corn and Clam Chowder

Yell A Little Loudah For My New Favorite Chowdah!

corn and clam chowder

Corn and Clam Chowder


As the long hot summer faded away to autumn, I was looking around for inspiration when I came across this chowder recipe from Boston chef Matthew Jennings. Once I read it included bacon, corn, and jalapeño, I was in!

Chef Jennings uses fresh littleneck clams in his recipe and includes instructions on steaming them (in recipe link at bottom). I took the less expensive and easier route and went with canned minced clams. After making this the first time, I felt it needed more clams and used three cans rather than the two shown in the ingredient photo.

Here’s a tip for cutting the corn off the cob without it flying all over: Holding the corn carefully (and keeping your fingers out of the way), stand one end of the husked corn in the center hole of a Bundt cake pan, cut down so that all the kernels are caught in the pan. After you’ve removed all the kernels, run the back of your knife or a spoon along the length of the cob to extract all the excess corn milk for extra flavor.  Easy!

                                            cutting up corn kernels into a bowlslicing off corn kernels

[If you can’t find fresh corn, thawed frozen sweet corn would work in a pinch. Add a 15 oz. can of creamed corn for creaminess.]

This is not a traditional clam chowder. I think it is a more end of summer chowder with its thick and creamy corn deliciousness. The clams add just the right touch of briny yumminess. We will definitely be adding this chowder to our soup rotation. If you are longing for cooler weather and a hearty chowder, give this recipe a try. I think you will like it!

corn and clam chowder ingredients


Good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. dry white wine
3 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained and juices reserved
6 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
5 cups corn kernels (about 5 ears corn)
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. water
½ t. cayenne pepper
2 t. granulated sugar
3 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 T. chives, chopped
1 T. tarragon, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Using kitchen twine, make an herb bundle of the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the bacon until it is crispy about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

If the pan looks dry, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the jalapeño, onions, shallots, and garlic, and season with a large pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Cook, often stirring, until soft and brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

sauteeing onions and other ingredients

Add the wine, reduce the heat, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved clam juice, cream, water, cayenne, and sugar.

corn kernels for corn and clam chowder

Add the herb bundle to the soup. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the cream has reduced by a third, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the herb bundle.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until almost smooth. Return to low heat, add the potatoes, and cook until almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the clams and stir until heated through—season to taste with salt and pepper.

corn and clam chowder ready to serve

Garnish with the chopped chives, tarragon, reserved bacon, and a drizzle of olive oil before serving. And don’t forget the oyster crackers!

spoonful of corn and clam chowder

Serves 6.

Recipe lightly adapted from Tasting Table



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Corn and Clam Chowder
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