Homemade Soup : Curried Corn and Tuna Chowder


‘Tis the season for a bowl of nice hot soup, so here’s the recipe for a longtime favourite around here. This is something we always have the ingredients for because it calls for staples in most everyone’s cupboards and fridge, including canned or frozen corn and canned tuna fish, so it’s a good thing to make when you think you have nothing in the house.

We regularly have it for lunch or a light dinner, and have also served it as a first course at dinner parties, where it has been very well received, resulting in many requests for the recipe. Even people who didn’t think they liked curry have loved it.

This is something I’ve been making since I was in school. At that time it was a great choice for budgetary reasons, but nowadays we have it because it really is quite delicious. It has a nice hit of heat to it that adds to the warming effect, on a cold winter’s day. To stretch it out to serve more people, you can also add in a can of salmon too.

It starts with the making of a roux, which is basically cooking butter and flour together, and then adding liquid, resulting in a thickened liquid. This might be a new technique for some, and might be something you’ve avoided, because you could end up with a lumpy, unappealing mess. But there’s the trick to making it silky smooth every time. This technique can be used as a base for other creamy style soups and sauces too.

Here’s what you do : Melt your butter in a pot, then stir in the flour. Cook this for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. It will be grainy and dry and the mixture will begin to brown a bit … just make sure it doesn’t burn. Now, remove it from the heat (meaning take it right off the burner), and stir or whisk in about 1/4 cup of very cold water (I use water that has been in the fridge). Really stir that around, to make a smooth paste. Then gradually add more cold water, a bit at a time, continuing to stir. All the lumps should pretty well be dissolved. Return the pot to the stove and heat it up and cook away any floury taste. Add more water, if required, for what you’re making (more for soup and less for a cheese sauce, for example.)

Note, that in this recipe, there is the addition of some chopped onion sauteed in the butter before the flour is added, and some curry powder and cumin added just before the flour. But everything else about making the roux into this soup is the same as described above.

I’ll be repeating those instructions within the recipe too, so if you print it up, you’ll have it handy.


Homemade Soup : Curried Corn and Tuna Chowder

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • About 1/3 of a cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or to taste. You can start with less and stir more in at the end if you’d like)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups of (very cold) water, plus more water to get the consistency right
  • A can of corn, including the liquid, or about 1 cup frozen corn kernals
  • 2 cans of tuna fish. If it’s packed in water, add the liquid too. If not, drain it first.
  • OR 1 can of tuna and 1 can of salmon, bones and skin removed.
  • Juice from one fresh lime or juice of 3/4 of a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne or to taste
  • About 1 tsp salt or to your taste
  • About 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander, aka cilantro, chopped (optional but very tasty)

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onions and saute until cooked (about 3 minutes).

Add curry powder and cumin and stir to coat onions. Add flour. (the mixture will be dry and crumbly. Cook this for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove the pot from the heat (take it off the burner) and immediately stir in 1/4 cup of very cold water. This will form a paste. Add more cold water, a bit at a time, stirring constantly, until your mixture is smooth (except for the onions, of course!).

Return the pot to the burner and heat up, stirring occasionally. Since there is no dairy product in there, it doesn’t matter if it comes to a boil, as long as it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Add the corn and the tuna, and the salmon, if using. Break up any pieces of fish by pressing them against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.

Add more water, if it seems too thick.

Add lime juice and taste. Then add salt and cayenne pepper according to your liking.

Stir in chopped coriander just prior to serving.

You can reserve some coriander and corn to garnish, if desired.


Homemade corn and tuna chowder

Ingredients part 2
    Instructions part 2

    Ingredients part 3
      Instructions part 3

      Ingredients part 4
        Instructions part 4
        Corn chowder, tuna corn chowder

        So next time you think your cupboards are bare, remember this recipe.  It just might save the day!


        Thanks for checking out my post.  I hope you have a good weekend.  I’m heading north to visit with my parents and my dog-sister Kiki.  Nick is staying home with the boycat.

        xo loulou