Summer Corn Chowder, 5 Ways

This hearty soup stars one of those rare vegetables even the pickiest eaters love. And when summer corn is at its peak, everyone loves a simple and hearty corn chowder. The key to the extra corn-y flavor is the stock -- which takes minutes to make and infuses the soup with a deep, rich taste. Stick with the basic recipe or branch out and try one of the super-simple variations.

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Summer Corn Chowder

Peter Ardito

Summer Corn Chowder

The secret ingredient to Mark Bittman's classic corn chowder is in preparing the stock! Make sure to cook ingredients until they're tender for mouth-watering results.

Nutrition per serving 298 calories; 17g protein; 43g carbs; 9g fat (3g sat. fat); 4g fiber; 454mg sodium

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Shore-Style Corn Chowder

Peter Ardito

Shore-Style Corn Chowder

For a chowder that's a little bit more seaworthy, add 1 cup chopped scallops or 1 cup small (or chopped) peeled shrimp to your simmering soup about 5 minutes after adding the corn to your freshly-made stock.

Nutrition per serving 336 calories; 24g protein; 43g carbs; 9g fat (3g sat. fat); 4g fiber; 522mg sodium

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Mexican Accent Corn Chowder

Peter Ardito

Mexican Accent Corn Chowder

Ay caramba! This Mexican-inspired corn chowder will bring out your spicy side -- at least, the one on your taste buds! In addition to the corn kernels, add 1 large chopped tomato and some chopped jalapenos or a dash of Tabasco sauce. When serving, top each bowl with grated cheese (queso fresco, cheddar, or Monterey Jack) and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro in place of scallions.

Nutrition per serving 331 calories; 20g protein; 45g carbs; 9g fat (3g sat. fat); 4g fiber; 454mg sodium

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Chicken Corn Chowder

Peter Ardito

Chicken Corn Chowder

When the corn is almost finished cooking in the stock, add 1 cup shredded leftover chicken to the pot. Home-style cooking never tasted so good!

Nutrition per serving 365 calories; 27g protein; 42g carbs; 11g fat (4g sat. fat) 4g fiber; 483g sodium

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Vegan Corn Chowder

Peter Ardito

Vegan Corn Chowder

Substitute soy milk for regular milk for a soup that still tastes exactly how Bittman meant it to! Tip: this version also works for kids who are lactose-intolerant.

Nutrition per serving 301 calories; 14g protein; 38g carbs; 13g fat (1g sat. fat) 9g fiber; 130g sodium

Originally published in the August 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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