Sweet Corn Chowder with Chipotle Butter
  • 4 ears sweet corn (white, yellow, or both)
  • 2 medium onions, 1 finely diced and 1 quartered
  • About 6 cups water or mild (unsalted) chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 canned chipotle chile en adobo
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Time Estimates

Prep time: 25 min  

Cook time: 1 hr  

Total time: 1 hr 25 min  


  1. Husk the corn and remove the silk. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl, cutting off about the top half of each. Scrape the cobs with the back of the knife blade to force out the hearts of the kernels. Combine the scraped cobs in a stockpot with the quartered onion and water or stock just to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. While the stock simmers, set 2 tablespoons of the butter in a bowl in a warm place to soften (but not melt). Slit open the chile (if a little of the adobo stays attached, that's fine) and force it through a fine sieve into the bowl with the butter. Beat with a pinch of salt until well combined; cover and set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it begins to soften. Add the potatoes and strain in the corn stock. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, then add the corn and cook another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and corn are tender. Add the milk, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer just until heated through; do not let it boil after this point or the milk may curdle. Serve with a dollop of chipotle butter in each bowl.


Makes 8 servings

Good to know

Just a dab of smoky chipotle takes this simple soup to a new level and reminds us of how much European cuisines were enriched by these three foods from the New World — corn, potatoes, and chiles.

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: dianecordell/Flickr