Scrappy Tomato Corn Chowder

On a constant mission to waste as little food as possible, I am continuously impressed and inspired by my dear friend, Joel Gamoran. He has made it his mission to encourage people to quit throwing out food that they may consider “scraps”, and to get cooking with them. While recording our recent podcast episode (listen here!), he discussed the idea of using the corn cobs as a base for a deliciously creamy and flavor infused corn chowder soup. I promised him that day that I would do this the next weekend at the shore as we are continuously tossing these out without a second thought. Determined to put these to use, I took his theme of “scrappy cooking” and made the soup using only ingredients that I already had in our kitchen. This may be the oddest and most random thrown together dish I’ve ever made, but it was surprisingly a huge hit with my family. Not going to lie, my mom proclaimed that it was “the best thing she’s ever eaten.” Personally, I wouldn’t go that far, but hell, it was good! Here is to many more delicious meals made out of ingredients that may have otherwise been wasted.

Ingredients (serves ~12 as a side):

  • Ears of corn (4)

  • Bell pepper (2)

  • Zucchini (1)

  • Crackers (1 cup) – your preference of regular or GF

  • Crushed tomato (3.5 cups / 1 28oz can)

  • Chicken broth (4 cups / 1 32oz container)

  • Milk or dairy alternative (2 cups)

  • Avocado oil (1 teaspoon)

  • Water (4 cups)

  • Salt (1 teaspoon)

  • Cracked black pepper (2 teaspoons)

  • Red pepper flakes (1 tablespoon)

  • Cayenne pepper (2 teaspoons)


  1. In a large pot, steam the corn until it is cooked through

  2. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside

    ** The steps above can be done the day or two prior

  3. Place the cobs of corn in a large heavy pot, add in the can of crushed tomato, chicken broth, milk, water, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and cracked black pepper

  4. Cover that pot and place on medium heat for ~30 minutes

  5. While that mixture is soaking in the flavor of the ear cobs, dice the zucchini and the bell peppers into small ¼ inch pieces

  6. On a hot skillet, add avocado oil and sauté the zucchini, bell pepper, and the corn that has been cut down

  7. Season this mixture with a bit of salt and pepper and stir continuously for ~10 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly browned and cooked through

  8. Remove the corn cobs from the liquid mixture and place 2 cups of the liquid in a blender

  9. Add ¼ of the sautéed vegetables along with the cup of crackers into the blender and blend on high for ~30 seconds, or until it is all blended into a thick liquid consistency

  10. Add that mixture into the large pot of liquid and add in the remaining sautéed vegetables

  11. Mix that combination well and allow to cook, on low heat, for an additional ~20 minutes

  12. Serve as a side and enjoy!

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