When sweet on-the-ear corn and succulent lobster are in season, enjoying this favorite pair doesn’t get better than this herbed summer lobster and corn chowder. Made with garden-fresh basil and tarragon, zippy lime and a generous pour of coconut milk for a tropical twist, this lobster and corn chowder is summer comfort food at its finest.
Fall and winter may get all the credit for soup season but don’t sleep on a good summer soup, especially when lobster is involved. With its delicate texture and touch of sweetness, lobster is the king of summer meats. No disrespect to burgers, steaks and ribs. You're all delicious, but no one can realistically compete with lobster season. Sorry.
I especially love this summer chowder recipe because it uses coconut milk as opposed to cream. Coconut milk not only gives this chowder a lighter texture, which makes it perfect for the summer, but it also adds a little island flair. I can definitely imagine myself eating a bowl of this lobster chowder at some fancy beach resort.
Who can’t get behind a soup like that? Anything that gives me island vibes is my kind of dish.
Let's get started on this super easy summer chowder recipe. We first cut off corn fresh from the cob and then cook it in a little butter until it begins to toast. Considering that it's summer and on-the-ear corn is aplenty, I definitely recommend going fresh here. That said, if you happen to make this chowder in the off season, frozen corn is your best bet.
Once the corn browns, we remove it and then cook a little onion, carrot and celery. When those three are nice and soft, we add some garlic and tomato paste and then some white wine for good measure. After the wine reduces, we add our coconut milk and seafood stock and then transfer everything to a blender to make a perfectly smooth base.
When it comes to the seafood stock, I highly recommend making your own for the best flavor, and I happen to have a recipe for a great homemade version. If you don't have homemade seafood stock on hand, you can buy it online. I suggest Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base or More Than Gourmet Classic Seafood Stock, both of which are available on Amazon.
Either way, I definitely suggest using seafood stock over chicken stock. While chicken stock is delicious, it completely changes the flavor, so the end result won't be the same.
Now that our chowder has a silk consistency, we're ready to add our lobster and sprinkling of fresh herbs.
For the lobster meat, you have options. My neighborhood Safeway sells whole lobsters already cooked. I've seen them in the seafood case, but a lot of times I have to ask for them. This is my go-to method for using lobster meat. I love that the lobster is already perfectly cooked, and I get a combination of claw and tail meat.
You can also pick up uncooked lobster tails, steam them and then use them in the soup. This is my back-up method if the seafood counter is out of cooked whole lobsters.
Alternatively, you can look for frozen lobster or packaged cooked lobster. I've noticed Whole Foods does this, though Safeway is definitely the more economical route. Just make sure you don't get imitation lobster.
Of course, you can always cook live lobsters, but that makes me too sad. I'm almost positive if I came home with live lobsters, they'd become new pets, so I avoid the situation altogether.
And just like that, our delicious summer herbed lobster and corn chowder is ready to go.
How to Serve
For a pretty presentation, I like to transfer about a tablespoon or two of the coconut milk to a squeeze bottle and swirl it around the soup. I love the color contrast it adds, and it’s a nice way to show of the coconut milk that gives this chowder its distinctive flavor.
Along with the coconut milk, I recommend reserving a little lobster and corn to sprinkle on top. Some additional chopped fresh herbs are another nice touch. With our summer herbed lobster and corn chowder perfectly garnished, we’re ready to grab a spoon and dig in.
Looking for a beer? Try a Belgian witbier with this chowder. A Belgian witbier is light enough that it won't overpower the lobster, but it also comes with a citrusy, bright punch that complements the lobster nicely. I also happen to believe Belgian witbiers are one of the best summer sippers, so you really can't go wrong with this pairing.
For those times you're in the mood for a glass of wine, I love a buttery chardonnay with this chowder. Lobster and corn both beg for a healthy drizzle of butter when serving, so you can imagine how well they go with the chardonnay.
When nothing like a big bowl of summer soup hits the spot, I hope you try this herbed summer lobster and corn chowder.
Looking for More Summer Seafood?
- Maine-style lobster rolls
- Grilled lobster fettuccine in lemon Alfredo sauce
- Truffled burrata and grilled scallop pasta
- Beer mussels in chorizo-tomato sauce
- Ahi nachos with wasabi crema
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Herbed Summer Lobster and Corn Chowder
- 2 corn ears
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups seafood stock preferably homemade (see notes)
- 1 (14)-ounce can full-fat coconut milk reserving about 2 tablespoons for garnish
- 2 cups cooked lobster meat reserving about ¼ cup meat for garnish
- Leaves from a fresh tarragon sprig chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ lime juiced
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the corn husks and silk, set the corn ears on a cutting board and cut kernels off the ears with a sharp knife. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat and cook corn kernels until they lightly brown, about four to five minutes. Remove corn and set to the side.
- Cook the chopped carrot, celery and onion until softened, about eight to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Pour in dry white wine. Cook until reduced by about half. Stir in the seafood stock and coconut milk and mix until everything incorporates.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to Dutch oven or pot. Add cooked lobster meat and reserved corn and bring to a simmer. When it's warm enough to serve, stir in tarragon, basil, lime juice and cayenne and turn off heat. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. You can also add additional herbs if you'd like.
- Ladle into bowls. If desired, garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk and reserved lobster meat. Enjoy!
- I definitely recommend using a seafood stock as opposed to substituting chicken stock. Seafood stock adds such a different flavor than chicken stock, so the result won’t be the same if you use chicken stock. My homemade seafood stock is a delicious option and my preferred ingredient, but if you need to use a store-bought version, I’d go with Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base or More Than Gourmet Classic Seafood Stock both of which are available on Amazon.
- Shake the can of coconut milk well before using. It can start to solidify.
- For the lobster meat, you can ask your seafood counter if it sells whole lobsters cooked and use that meat. Alternatively, you can steam lobster tails or look for frozen cooked lobster. Don't use imitation lobster meat.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.