Hearty, creamy Instant Pot Corn Chowder will have you falling in love with sweet corn all over again this summer. An Instant Pot preparation might not be faster than the traditional route, but it's summer, so you won't be cranking up the AC and singing "it's getting hot in here" for all the neighbors to see and hear (okay, fine, we all know we're all still singing). Always start by cooking your bacon (a) because your kitchen will smell like bacon, and (b) so you can cook your mirepoix in the rendered fat. Garnish with bacon and chives after you've ladled it into bowls for the whole family, otherwise you're at risk of standing over your Instant Pot slurping it all up yourself right out of the ladle.
6ears cornkernels sliced from cobs, about 4 heaping cups
1lbred potatoesdiced to 1”
½tspcracked black pepper
1sprig fresh thymeor ½ tsp dried
1.5tbspcornstarchor arrowroot powder
Chopped chivesfor garnish
Press the Saute function, check that the time is set to at least 15 minutes, and allow the inner pot to heat up. Add the chopped bacon and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Remove half the bacon using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; toss to coat in the bacon fat and sautee for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent scalding.
Press the Cancel button to turn off the Saute function. Add the corn kernels, potatoes, 3 cups water, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then top with the thyme sprig and bay leaf.
Secure the lid and ensure the pressure valve is set to sealing. Press the Pressure Cook Button, adjust to High Pressure, and set the time for 10 minutes. It will take approximately 20 minutes for the pot to come to pressure. Once the timer goes off, do a quick release for the pressure. All the pressure to release until the float valve has dropped completely.
Open the pot and remove the bay leaf and thyme stem using tongs.
Whisk the cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl until smooth. Pour the cornstarch slurry and heavy cream into the pot. Press the Saute function once more, and simmer until the soup is thick, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Sautee function.
Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls, then garnish with the reserved bacon and chopped chives.
In the fridge: in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium high heat, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between.
In the freezer: in an airtight container for up to 2 months.