You know when you just can’t get warm? It feels like even your bones are cold? Enter, this amazing corn cauliflower chowder with bacon. It’s a cozy warming chowder soup recipe made with cauliflower, corn and bacon.
I grew up in Chicago and now live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I’ve lived in upstate New York, so I know a thing or two about cold winters. So on a wintery day, I was was making my Instant Pot healthy baked potato soup and had some leftover frozen corn. I was like “why don’t I throw that in there?” It was a completely different soup; and so warming and hearty. So, I turned an older recipe into this corn cauliflower chowder with bacon recipe and have been making it over and over through the years, and am excited to share it with you!
But this is not just a winter soup. No, this soup is a summer soup too (or really an all-seasons soup). Because in the summer, you can use fresh corn when it is seasonally available. The fresh corn with give the soup a slightly sweeter flavor in the summer!
What I love about this corn cauliflower bacon chowder is that it’s so adaptable/customizable and turns out great whichever way you make it.
- You can use fresh corn, frozen corn or canned corn
- You use fresh or frozen cauliflower
- You can use bacon, turkey bacon, bacon bits, or omit the bacon (if you omit the bacon just use a little olive oil to cook the onions).
I could totally be wrong, but I’ve always thought the main difference between a soup and a chowder is that a chowder is chunky and not blended; whereas a soup is more brothy and blended/pureed so there are not many chunks.
Personally, the thick/chunky texture of this soup is exactly what I love about it! It’s a hearty meal, even on the coldest of days.
Corn Cauliflower Chowder with Bacon
- 4 slices bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 pound potatoes peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (1/2 head cauliflower or one 14oz. bag)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 dashes pepper (optional)
- oyster crackers for serving (optional)
- In a large pot cook the bacon over medium high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until crisp. Use tongs to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add onion and cook, stirring until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the milk.
- Add the potatoes, corn, cauliflower, thyme, salt and cayenne and let come to a boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Stir in the bacon pieces. Add more salt to taste if desired. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.
Instant Pot Preparation
- Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes. If using fresh cauliflower, chop that now as well. Add both to a 6 qt Instant Pot.
- Set Instant Pot to saute for 10 minutes and add bacon pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally until bacon is crispy, 5 minutes. Use tongs to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Dice onions and put into Instant Pot. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the flour and stir for another minute.
- Add milk, cauliflower, corn and potatoes to the Instant Pot. Then add salt, thyme and pepper. The milk should slightly cover the potatoes and cauliflower.
- Seal the Instant pot lid and move the valve to 'sealing' and cook on manual or soup setting for 10 minutes. My Instant Pot had a little bit of preheating time, around 3-5 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, turn the valve from sealing to venting to release the pressure. This will make a hissing sound and the steam will come out which takes a few minutes.
- I like to wait a few minutes (usually at least 5 minutes) after the venting is done before removing the lid.
- Add additional salt to taste if you wish. Add the bacon and ladle into bowls and serve.
- I like to cook the bacon while the soup is cooking, but this can be done ahead of time, or you can use bacon bits.