The Clara Project: cream of corn soup.

I originally published this recipe for cream of corn soup back in April as part of The Clara Project. And now, as fresh corn season reaches its bitter end here in the Midwest, it seems a fine time to revisit it. Get yourself to the farmers’ market, grab as many ears of fresh corn as you can carry and make a batch of this comforting corn chowder. (Cut the kernels off any remaining ears of corn and freeze them in zip-top freezer bags, so you can make this soup at any time of the year with summer’s best corn.)


(makes 3 cups)

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh fine-ground pepper
toppings: crumbled bacon, finely diced red bell pepper, crème fraîche or sour cream

Make a thin white sauce: Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour over melted butter and whisk well to combine. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the paste is slightly golden and smells toasty. Very slowly whisk in the milk, a bit at a time. The mixture will seize up into a thick paste; don't worry, just keep adding milk gradually and whisking well until the mixture thins and smooths out. After you've added the milk, bring the soup base to a gentle boil and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens (look for a ring of fine bubbles around the perimeter of the pan). Add the corn and 1/4 tsp. salt, stir well. Lower the heat slightly and simmer the soup for 20 minutes, until the corn is thoroughly cooked and the soup is chowder-ish in texture. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed. If you'd like, let the soup cool for a few minutes, then use a blender or stick blender to puree the soup to a texture you like. Like most soups, this improves in flavor after a day in the fridge. Reheat very gently to prevent scorching. Serve with toppings of your choice.

About The Clara Project
Once a week, I’ll make and share a recipe from a collection of vintage recipe cards that were written in the 1930s by Clara Shenefelt. See all the Clara Project recipes.

2 thoughts on “The Clara Project: cream of corn soup.

    • Hi, Charlene! Thanks for the question. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the finished corn chowder — I find that dairy-based soups don’t freeze as well. Anyone else have a different point of view on freezing creamy soups?