This sweet corn chowder recipe, also known as sopa de milho in Portuguese, is so good it’ll blow your mind. It’s thick, chunky, full of white sweet potatoes, smoked sausage, and the best part is, you can make it with fresh corn in the summer, and frozen corn during the winter time. It’s a great corn soup recipe all year long!
About this sopa de milho – Brazilian Corn Chowder recipe
I know corn is the poster child of the American summer, but, sopa de milho (Brazilian Corn Chowder), is one of the many popular dishes Brazilians savor during the winter when we have our Festas Juninas (translates to something like June parties). And while they may be called “June parties”, in reality, these parties actually run from June all the way through July, and sometimes August.
These parties began as a pagan tradition, were later “christianized” by the Catholic church, who then started calling them Festas de São João (St. John’s Parties) to celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist. For Catholic Brazilians, this is an opportunity to give thanks to St. John and other Saints. For the less religious, this is a time to celebrate rural life through food, clothing, music and lots of dancing.
I can’t even begin to tell you just how fun Festas Juninas are! They’re like a neighborhood party, full of families, kids, and people of all ages hanging out and having a blast by the fogueiras bonfires, wearing “caipira” country outfits, dancing to traditional tunes, and so much more. This is a cultural event I truly miss!! Luckily, I can still eat all that hearty food… whew!
This chunky and smoky corn soup recipe sure is a Festa Junina classic, but it’s just too good to be eaten in only one yearly occasion! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
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Brazilian corn chowder ingredients
- butter – I can’t think of a corn recipe without butter, but if you want to manage some of the calories in this recipe, go ahead and adjust the amount of butter the recipe calls for. Alternatively, just sub for a tablespoon or so of another fat of your choice.
- smoked sausage – I like using a pork sausage, but you can use any kind of smoked sausage you like.
- corn – the beauty of this recipe is that you can use fresh or frozen corn. I definitely prefer to use fresh corn, but frozen corn allows me to enjoy this yummy soup all year long (plus, it’s less work for me!).
- white sweet potatoes – these give the recipe more natural sweetness, and creaminess. If you don’t like white sweet potatoes, just sub for regular potatoes for a more savory dish.
- chicken stock – this recipe calls for 5 cups of stock, but if you don’t want to have to open two quart containers of chicken stock, just use a full quart box (4 cups), plus 1 cup of water. Alternatively, you can use all 5 cups of water, but your soup will have a lot less flavor.
- green onions for garnish
You’ll also need:
How to make corn chowder Brazilian Style
Step 1 – Brown the sausage with some of the butter.
Step 2 – When the sausages are browned, remove them and set aside. Place them on a plate lined with some paper towels.
Step 3 – Add more butter to the pan, and add the onions. Then, after a few mins, add the garlic.
Step 4 – Add the corn.
Step 5 – Add the white sweet potatoes and stir. Season with some salt and pepper.
Step 6 – Add the stock, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
TIP – OPTIONAL: You can use grilled corn as a garnish! You can grill them on your grill, use leftover grilled corn from a bbq party or, if you have a gas stove, you can just carefully hold your corn over the burner with thongs until they are nicely charred.
Step 7 – Using a slotted spoon, scoop about half the corn and potato out and set aside. Then, using an immersion blender, blend what’s left in the pan.
Step 8 – Add the sausage and the corn back to the pot (you can save some to use as garnish) and boom, you are done!
Serve your Brazilian corn chowder with green onions, and a little more butter if you like!
Other Brazilian Soups you’ll love:
- Sopa de Palmito – Hearts of Palm Soup
- Caldo Verde – Portuguese Green Soup
- Canja de Galinha – Brazilian Chicken anda Rice Soup
If you love this sweet corn chowder recipe, you may like these hearty stews:
Brazilian Corn Chowder
- 1/2 stick of butter (about 4Tbsp) plus more for finishing
- 1 lb smoked sausage cut into cubes
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 6 cups corn
- 3 cups of white sweet potatoes cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 cups of chicken stock
- sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- In a large soup or stockpot lightly brown the sausage with 2 tbsp of butter, over medium to high heat – about 3 minutes*
- Remove the sausage and set aside
- Add the other 2tbsp of butter, and melt. Then, add the onions and cook until they are transparent, about 3 mins
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute or 2
- Add the corn and the potato, and stir
- Season with salt and pepper, stir
- Cover with the stock and bring to a simmer, then, let it simmering until potatoes are soft
- When the potatoes are cooked, scoop out about half of the corn/potato with a slotted spoon, and set aside
- Using an immersion blender, blend what’s left in the pan
- Add the sausage and the corn back to the pot (you can save some to use as garnish)
- Give it a stir and done