Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cooking Light with Ina Garten: Cheddar Corn Chowder

It was just one of those cold, snowy days where a big batch of soup just sounded perfect. Not just any soup though. It had to be a hearty soup; something similar to a potato soup. When I stumbled across Ina Garten's recipe for Cheddar Corn Chowder, my search for the perfect soup was over. This turned out to be just what we needed to warm us up on that snowy afternoon. I bet it will do the trick for you too!

Serves 12


5 ounces Jennie-O Extra Lean TURKEY bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

4 tablespoons "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" Light

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)  

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

12 cups FAT FREE/ REDUCED SODIUM chicken broth

6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)

1 pound bag frozen corn kernels

2 cups FAT FREE half-and-half

1/2 pound REDUCED-FAT sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (Suggested: Cabot 75% Reduced Fat


In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter; cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon (and maybe a pinch of reduced-fat or fat free shredded cheddar).


This soup turned out to be filling, flavorful and delicious. A great choice if you are craving a creamy-based, chowder-y soup. By making some simple changes to a few ingredients, we are able to cut the calories per serving by more than 50%! Here is the nutritional breakdown based on dividing the recipe into 10 servings:

BEFORE:  641 calories; 35g fat;  58g carbohydrate; 28g protein

AFTER:  238.17 calories;  6.82g fat;  31.19g carbohydrate;  14.81g protein;  3.43g fiber

SAVINGS: 402.83 calories;  28.18g fat; 26.81g carbohydrate



  1. Girl, this soup sounds right up my alley on a freezing cold day like today! I can't wait to give it a whirl!

  2. This soup sounds amazing! It reminded me of another delicious recipe I recently discovered, it's a Cooking Light Chunky Potato Crab chowder and it's incredible! It's already light but do you think there are ways to make it even healthier?

  3. Yum! That's one great soup and I'm so glad to find your blog. Must try this!

  4. Callie had asked about was to lighten up and already healthy recipe for a Chunky Potato Crab Chowder she liked from Cooking Light. My two suggestions would be to substitute the butter with either EVOO or my favorite, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter", reg or light. The 2% milk can also be replaced with either a skim or 1% OR fat-free half-and-half for a creamier consistency. Callie is right, this recipe looks really yummy! Check it out!

  5. Lindsay,
    this soup is devine!!! love it, i also did a little redo of her corn chowder with my nutritionist!! hope you are well! when is the mag article coming out?



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