If you like hearty soups you will love making this easy Corn & Kale Chowder. Colorful and nourishing, this vegetarian soup is made from a few simple ingredients. Ready in 30 minutes, just one bowl makes a fast and filling meal.
I created this recipe after wondering what to do with some slightly sad looking, wilting kale which was lurking in the back of the fridge. The good news is, older greens are fine for cooking. And in this case, they helped me make what has become family favorite soup in my house.
Why you should try this Easy Corn & Kale Chowder
- You can make it with frozen or fresh corn. Which means it super convenient.
- It's a great way to use up any older greens you might have in the fridge.
- Leftovers are great for lunches and this soup tastes even better the next day.
What is Chowder?
A chowder is a thick, rich, hearty soup with a base of chopped vegetables, which is usually thickened with flour.
Traditionally chowders contain seafood or chicken but there are many vegetarian options too. Most chowders are creamy, apart from Manhattan clam chowder, which has a tomato base.
Do I have to include flour in my Chowder?
Chowder is traditionally thickened with flour but it's fine to use gluten free flour if you are gluten sensitive (do a straight 1:1 swap).
Can I make Chowder dairy free?
If you don't want to use cream in this soup you can use almond milk as a straight swap. The consistency will be slightly less thick and creamy but the almond milk adds a nutty taste which brings a different and delicious vibe to this chowder.
Tips for making the best Corn & Kale Chowder
- It's fine to use fresh or frozen corn. If you're using fresh, boil the corn cobs for around 10 minutes. Then cut the corn off the cob carefully.
- Be sure not to overcook the kale. It’s best to add it towards the end - it literally only takes a couple of stirs in a boiling liquid to cook.
- After you add the cream make sure you don't boil the soup. Just bring it to a simmer and take it straight off the heat. If you boil cream there is a danger it might split.
How To Serve Corn & Kale Chowder
It's filling enough to be a meal in a bowl. But if you want to add more, crusty bread is obviously the first place to start! Garlic bread is also a delicious addition and goes with the flavors really well.
I also love to serve this to my kids with traditional oyster crackers or saltines, since they'll eat anything once they sprinkle these on top.
Can You Reheat Corn & Kale Chowder?
Yes. Make sure you store the chowder in an airtight container. To re-heat, place it in a medium saucepan on a low heat.
To help avoid this cream based soup from curdling, stir constantly whilst re-heating. Bring it just to a simmer and make sure it is hot all the way through, but don't vigorously boil it or the soup might split.
Can You Freeze Corn & Kale Chowder?
Soups that contain milk and cream often don't freeze well and can be at risk of separating when you re-heat them.
One way around this is to make the soup up to the point where you add the cream and stop (so basically miss out the last step.) Then when you re-heat the soup you can add the cream before serving.
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More Easy One Pot Meal Ideas
Easy Kale & Corn Chowder
- 1 Onion - finely diced
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 cloves Garlic - minced
- 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour (Plain Flour) - Gluten Free if required
- ½ cup White Wine - optional
- 2 cups Corn - fresh or frozen is fine
- 6 cups Vegetable Broth - or chicken broth
- ½ cup Heavy Cream (Double Cream)
- 2 cups Kale - stemmed & chopped
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Grated Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative - optional garnish
- In a large pan sauté the onion over a medium low heat in butter until soft (around 10 minutes). Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and stir it in. Sprinkle over the flour
- Carefully whisk the white wine into the flour to avoid lumps.
- Add the broth, again whisking continuously to avoid any lumps.
- Stir in the corn.
- Simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season again if needed.
- Add the kale, stir and cook for a minute or two until wilted but still bright green.
- Stir through the cream at the end and heat until chowder just comes back to the boil - then turn off. Don't boil the soup after the cream is added or it could split.
- Garnish with Parmesan Cheese if you wish.
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