Light Summer Seafood Corn Chowder

I am a gal who loves soup year-round, so I’m delighted to share this Light Summer Seafood Corn Chowder. I am big fan of Ina, so I was inspired by her seafood chowder to make a lighter version for summer. This recipe is not your quick weeknight dinner, but it’s a lovely indulgence. It’s perfect for weekend cooking or a celebration.

seafood corn chowder close up

It is the moment for corn, and I am embracing it every step of the way. There is almost nothing better than a fabulous corn chowder with perfect summer corn. For this recipe, we used corn as many ways as we could. We have it whole in the soup, blended, and used for the broth. It is corn at every turn!

For the shrimp, you want to get it deveined but with the shells on. The shells will help bring out a beautiful flavor in the broth. And that’s what I’m so thrilled about with this recipe! Every bit of each ingredient enhances the dish. It’s the kind of recipe that makes you fall in love with cooking all over again. It’s a joy to make, and delicious to eat. I mean, what’s better than a seafood corn chowder?

corn chowder prep

The clam juice is another key component of this tasty corn chowder. It works as the base for the soup alongside the corn water. To me, clam juice is a total Magic Elixir. It is quite frankly the best thing for making a seafood broth. I’m even dreaming up a seafood risotto with clam juice, so definitely be on the lookout for that!

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it below. If you’re looking for more summer soups, definitely try this delicious blended soup. And of course, follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more inspiration!

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seafood corn chowder

Light Summer Seafood Corn Chowder

  • Author: Teri Turner
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Light Summer Seafood Corn Chowder is delicious and perfect for a summer celebration meal!


7 ears of fresh corn

3 teaspoons salt, divided

½ teaspoon olive oil

3 pieces of bacon

1 cup chopped shallots

1 cup chopped white onion

1 ½ cups chopped celery

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

3/4 cup dry vermouth, divided

4 cups clam juice

2 cups mini potatoes, cut in half

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp

Chopped chives, to garnish


In a large pot over high heat, add 10 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add the corn and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the corn and set it aside until cool enough to handle. Leave the pot of hot corn water on the stovetop.


Using a Santoku knife if you have one, carefully cut the kernels off of 4 cobs and set aside. Add the shaved cobs back to the pot of corn water. Then cut the kernels from the remaining 3 ears and place them in a blender, also returning the shaved cobs back to the pot of water. Blend the kernels until smooth and set aside. Note: I like to cut each ear in half crosswise, then holding the piece vertically, cut side on the cutting board, slice the kernels off the cob, rotating as I go.


Turn the heat back to high and boil the water with the cobs for 5 minutes. Strain the hot corn broth into a large, 4-cup measuring cup if you have it. You will likely have about 3 cups of liquid. If you have less than 4 cups, add water until you have 4 cups total. If you have more than 4 cups corn water discard the remainder.


Using a cloth, wipe out any reside that remains in the large pot. Over medium high heat, heat ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Cook the bacon until crispy, for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.


In the same pot, lower the heat to medium and add the shallots, onion and celery. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.


Raise the heat to medium high and add ½ cup of the vermouth. Simmer until evaporated, for about 1 minute. Stir in the clam juice and corn water. Add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the potatoes are about halfway done.


Next, stir in the corn and the blended corn. Simmer for 7 more minutes.


Lastly, turn the heat to medium, and add the shrimp and butter, and continue to cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through.


Turn off heat and add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup vermouth. Stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt, if needed.

Serve topped off with chopped chives and chopped bacon. This chowder is even better as the flavors meld; savor the leftovers!

Keywords: seafood corn chowder, corn chowder

12 thoughts on “Light Summer Seafood Corn Chowder

  1. I’m not able to get clam juice because I’m a very rural area. Do you have suggestions for a replacement? I think I can get everything else :-). I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Clam juice is readily available at most grocery stores and it comes in a bottle or jar.
      You can use seafood broth or even chicken stock

      1. Teri- how essential is the vermouth – is there a substitute

      2. it’s sure good and keeps forever but you can use white wine

  2. Teri, this recipe was delightful to make and it was so delicious! It’s definitely perfect for Summer! It was my first time ever using using clam juice and vermouth in a recipe and they were wonderful and definitely an elixir as you mentioned! The summer corn was cooked perfectly and the broth was light and sweet. All the ingredients worked so well together! I will definitely make this again!

    1. i’m so glad

  3. So delicious! I added extra shrimp and a can of lump crabmeat to boost the protein. Also used a whole package of bacon because…why not?! Leftovers today are even more scrumptious!

  4. Really incredible! I made it last night but I peeled the shrimp and tied the peels into a cheese cloth to cook with the soup (so I wouldn’t loose the flavor) and shortened the cook time for the shrimp (so not to overcook). It certainly made eating the meal a little easier and not as messy. Overall fabulous recipe! I’ll definitely be making it again.

    1. Sounds great. If you’re going to add the shrimp shells I would just do it when you put the corn cobs in because that way none of the little pieces will fall out… Anyway we’ve done it that way also. So glad you enjoyed it

  5. Amazing results. I loved it. Delicious. I made the recipe through cooking potatoes earlier in the day. Then reheated it finished with butter, shrimp etc.

    1. thanks julie

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