Corn & Roasted Poblano Chowder
I must come clean. I made this soup a few weeks ago and, in my haste, threw it directly into the freezer before writing about it. Not even one picture was snapped during its creation. I’ve had a number of “bigger issues” to focus on of late and I’m afraid I didn’t give this delectable soup its due. But it such a delicious dish – I felt the need to share. So – please forgive me for posting about this at the end of corn season. And for using a few stock images in place of the pictures I usually take myself. Hopefully your enjoyment of this chowder will more than make up for my behavior J
Fresh corn is easily at the top of my “favorite vegetables” list. Perhaps even my “favorite food” list. I ate it throughout the summer – fresh off the cob, roasted on the grill, stirred into casseroles. Sadly, I didn’t get around to making my favorite – fresh corn pudding. Next year… But I did manage to make a big batch of comforting soup.
The corn at the farmer’s market was ridiculously inexpensive so I bought about 12 ears and made a triple batch of Corn & Roasted Poblano Chowder. This is a lighter version than many I’ve tasted. Absent is the heavy cream and crispy bacon that grace many traditional chowders (both would be tasty additions should you want a more decadent bowlful). I wanted the corn to be the star – so I kept the fat content to a minimum and intensified the flavor – and the heat – by adding roasted poblano peppers.
Another trick – making my own stock. A friend recommended I reserve the cobs after removing all the kernels and throw them into a stock pot with some onions, carrots and whatever other vegetables I had on hand. I added the tops of the leeks I had laying around, covered everything with water and let it simmer for a few hours. After straining, I was left with a lightly sweet and savory vegetable broth that I froze for use throughout the winter.
The result of all this simmering and stewing is a healthy bowl of comfort food. Perfect for these crisp, cool days. Now I just need to find the perfect corn bread recipe to accompany it. Stay tuned!
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Corn & Roasted Poblano Chowder
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 large poblano peppers
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped leek (about 1 large)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
- 2 pounds cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Small bunch fresh cilantro (optional)
Turn on the broiler. Liberally spray peppers with olive oil spray and place on foil-lined pan. Place under broiler for approximately 10 minutes – turning every few minutes to ensure even roasting. Once they are blackened – remove and place in brown paper bag and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Once cooled – remove all the blackened skin, cut open and remove seeds and cut into a small dice. Set aside.
Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek, onion and bell pepper; cook 4 – 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.
Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly add milk mixture to the pot, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, corn, potato, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in roasted poblano peppers. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
Serve with chopped cilantro.