Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon-Corn Bread Crumble

Now that it’s September, I can legitimately post a soup recipe and not feel like a “season jumper”. Summer is for summer things, fall is for fall things and so on and so on. I just can’t (and won’t) get excited about Halloween in August or about Christmas in September. I almost lost my mind when I noticed the movie Elf was on television this weekend AND I got a Christmas catalog in the mail. I died a little inside.

So soup. Probably one of my most favorite things to make in the cooler months. I could eat soup for days. And I generally do, because it takes one person a LOOONG time to consume a giant stockpot of soup!

This Chipotle Corn Chowder is the perfect “first soup of the season” because it’s hearty and filling, but still rocking some serious summer flare because it’s loaded to the brim with fresh, sweet, tender corn. This is transition soup. It’s how we gracefully go from one season to the next.

Kind of like how I’m rocking flip flops and tank tops, but with a cute scarf and blazer. Does that make sense?

I added some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to give this soup a nice smoky undertone and a little heat. And oh my gosh, I’m dying over the topping! I coated and toasted some cornbread cubes in the reserved bacon fat, then combined them with the cooked bacon for a heavenly crumble that is perfectly fitting for a corn chowder.

You could certainly make your own cornbread here (either from scratch or from a box mix), but sometimes when I’m feeling lazy I like to just grab a couple muffins from the bakery and cut them up. It’s the perfect shortcut when you’re in a rush.



Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon-Corn Bread Crumble

Serves 6-8

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon-Corn Bread Crumble


  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups potatoes, chopped (leave the skins on)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 5 cups corn kernels (from about 5 ears)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups cornbread, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. In a large heavy bottom stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and the olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Carefully remove about 2 tablespoons of the fat and reserve it for later. Add the onions and the butter to the remaining fat in the stockpot and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock, potatoes and minced chipotle peppers (use 1 tablespoon for a more mild flavor) and bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 12-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add the corn and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the half and half and the cheddar cheese, cooking just until the cheese is melted. Remove the soup from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Make the crumble topping. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl toss the corn bread cubes with the reserved bacon fat. Spread the corn bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in your pre-heated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the corn bread is slightly browned and crisped. Remove from the oven and toss with the cooked bacon.
  4. To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with the bacon-corn bread crumble. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


1. If fresh corn isn’t available, you can use frozen corn.

22 comments on “Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon-Corn Bread Crumble”

  1. Yum! I love soup season and this is one I’m definitely going to try soon (while fresh corn is still good!). Love it.

  2. Mmm, corn and chipotle sounds fantastic! And that crumble sounds amazing… So creative!

  3. OH MY WORD …I’m pretty sure I was drooling as I read this recipe. Mmmm .. so many different components, yet so simple. This would be perfect on a cold fall day!!

  4. No way, Elf is on TV already?! LOVE this chowder with the cornbread addition!

  5. Add chipotle to anything and I’m in! I’m ready for blazers and scarves too, but we’ll see what we get here in CA. I think it’s supposed to get to 100 today. Love the cornbread bacon crumble! Yum!

  6. This is my type of meal!! It looks delicious!

  7. I could eat soup all day, every day, even if it’s 100 degrees out! But I agree, it somehow feels a little more acceptable to eat now that fall is almost upon us. This soup looks incredible, Liz! I love all of the flavors that are blended together. So perfect for the season!

  8. It’s so hot outside, yet I want a big bowl of this for dinner right now! Soup is one of my favorite things to eat, and while I do eat it in the summer sometimes too, I live on it in the cooler months. Pinning this one to try! 🙂

    • Thanks, Marcie! When I made this soup it was definitely feeling like fall here, but now we are back in the 80’s. The weather can’t make up it’s mind! I hope it cools off for you soon!

  9. What a gorgeous soup, and I couldn’t agree more, re: season jumping. I get as excited about pumpkin and apples as the next person, but you can bake with those all year. Why not make the most of things like fresh corn during its short season? It’s all a bit overwhelming. This chowder looks like the ultimate!

  10. WOW this is such a creative and delicious-looking chowder. I cannot resist bacon and corn… I’m adding this to this week’s menu (:

  11. I have been craving chowder! This looks delicious and so fresh.

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