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Maine lobster, leek, and corn chowder

Maine Lobster, Leek, and Corn Chowder

The flavors of late summer and early fall combine in this incredible chowder. Fresh lobster, corn, leeks, and potatoes yield a hearty but impressive soup that is reminiscent of the New England coastline.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American, New England
Servings 8 to 10 servings
Calories 349 kcal


  • 8 cups fish stock
  • 3 1/2 lb live Maine lobsters
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 to 4 ears fresh corn or 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups (350 to 465 g) frozen corn kernals
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sweet Hungarian paprika for garnish


  • In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, bring the fish stock to a vigorous simmer. Very carefully remove the rubber bands from the lobster claws (the lobsters can pinch you, so pay attention). Place the lobsters, shell side up, in the pot, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, flip the lobsters, and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using tongs, remove the lobsters and let cool. Working over a flat, rimmed dish, such as a pie plate, to catch any released juice, remove the meat from the claws and the tail and cut into generous bite-size pieces; reserve the lobster meat and juice. Remove the legs (not the claws but the thin spiny legs on the body), cut in half and reserve.
  • Trim off the dark green sections from the leeks and save for making vegetable stock. Halve the pale green and white sections. Rinse under cold running water, pat dry, and cut crosswise into thin pieces.
  • In another large stockpot over low heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and half of the chives and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the stock and reserved lobster juice, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
  • In a small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, bring the cream to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat, add the lobster pieces and the leg pieces and let steep for 3 minutes. Then, add the cream and lobster to the stock.
  • If using fresh corn, shuck the ears, remove the silks, and trim off the ends so that you can stand the cob flat. Using a sharp knife and standing each cob on its end inside a large bowl, remove the kernels from the cob by working the knife straight down against the cob. Using the blunt side of the knife, scrape down the cob after the kernels have been removed to release the corn “milk,” Repeat with the remaining ears. Add the corn kernels, corn milk, and 2 tablespoons chives to the pot; season with salt and pepper; and cook for 5 minutes, or until the soup simmers. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Ladle the chowder into mugs or bowls and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons chives and the paprika before serving.

Notes & Nutrition

  • To Go: Cook the chowder; add the lobster, cream, and corn; and immediately remove it from the heat. Pack the chives and paprika separately. At the party, carefully warm the chowder over low heat just until it simmers to prevent overcooking the lobster.
  • If you prefer to purchase cooked, cleaned lobster meat instead of cooking and cleaning your own lobsters, plan to use about 12 to 14 ounces of cooked lobster meat for this recipe.
  • I recommend More Than Gourmet for a Fish Stock base if you are unable to make your own fish stock or find good quality canned fish stock.
Adapted from Soup Swap
Servings 8.0 * calories 349 * Total Fat 15 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 1 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 28 mg * Sodium 1657 mg * Potassium 222 mg * Total Carbohydrate 37 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 3 g * Protein 26 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*