Instant Pot Corn Chowder
This is a great time of year for warm and inviting soups and stews. This Instant Pot corn chowder has it all. It’s a great combination of aromatic vegetables, crispy bacon and tender potatoes. A comfort dish at it’s finest. This soup can be ready to serve in under an hour.
We have a bit of a quandary. In the summer time, it’s too hot for soup, but there is fresh corn. In winter, soup is perfect, but we have no fresh corn. Not to worry. This dish will work with any type of corn. Fresh, frozen or canned. However, I think I would choose frozen over canned corn. It will hold up better, and be more flavorful.
Potatoes are optional here, but they really add some heartiness to the dish. At first I considered smaller red or Yukon potatoes, but I decided on Russet potatoes. Most recipes for Instant Pot corn chowder suggest adding raw flour as a thickener. I’m not sure how I feel about adding raw flour to anything. The Russet potatoes have more starch, and will aid in the thickening process.
What is a Chowder?
Technically speaking, a chowder is a soup or stew made with dairy and thickened with a roux. You could use a roux here, but why have to wash more pans. There are other ways to thicken a soup. Add a little cornstarch to the mix. You can also remove some of the chowder when it’s finished, puree it, and add it back to the pot. But, you don’t want it to be too thick. It should still be soupy. There are several additions you can make to your chowder that will jazz it up. One option is chicken, but you could also add ham or shrimp. Cheese is good too, and you can make it a little spicy with some cayenne pepper.
Serving and Storage For Your Instant Pot Corn Chowder
I wouldn’t attempt to freeze this chowder. The dairy will separate when you thaw it, and it will be grainy. The only way to do it, is to leave the cream out until you re-heat it. Some garnish ideas for your Instant Pot corn chowder might include corn kernels, bacon or chives. Why not all three. To serve this you could just have some simple sourdough bread with a little butter, but I like gooey, melted grilled cheese sandwich.
Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- 4 Slices Bacon, Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Large Russet Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into One Inch Cubes
- 12 Ounces Frozen Corn (One Bag)
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- Turn the Instant Pot setting to saute, and add the bacon. Cook, stirring frequently until the is crisp. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels. Drain off all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat.
- Add the butter, and when it is melted add the onions and garlic. Saute until softened, two to three minutes.
- Add the corn, potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir and cook for two to three minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, and all of the bacon except enough for garnish. Turn off the saute setting.
- Close the lid to the pot, and set the steam release to sealing.
- Select the manual/pressure cook setting for 10 minutes at high pressure. It will take the appliance a bit to come up to pressure.
- When the timer goes off, turn off the pot, and let the pressure release naturally, This could take up to 20 minutes. When the pin in the lid drops, carefully open the lid, and add the cream. Select the saute setting, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently until the soup thickens. If it's not thick enough, remove some of the chowder to a bowl, and puree it with an immersion blender. Then add the puree back to the soup. If the chowder is too thick add some more chicken stock.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, and serve.