This delicious Southwest Corn Chowder is packed with summer produce and filled with the rich flavors of the southwest.
Skillet blackened corn, roasted poblano peppers, red bell peppers, whole new potatoes, and bacon swim in a creamy broth flavored with garlic, oregano, and enchilada sauce.
This chowder is possibly even better the next day, so you might want to make extra.
This chowder is one of my favorite things to make in the summer
Our little town used to be more corn fields than town. Over the years, many of those corn fields have given way to shopping centers and housing developments.
But, we still have our fair share of corn fields, and there are at least 4 farmer's markets within a mile of my house. For a few months in the summer and early fall, every one of those farmer's markets contains large bins overflowing with sweet corn.
Occasionally, I get ambitious and freeze a bunch of sweet corn. This makes me so happy with myself when it's the middle of winter and I'm desperately craving fresh summer produce.
Alas, most summers get away from me before I manage to put away much, if any, summer produce. Knowing this, I just try to consume as much of it's deliciousness as I can while it's available.
This Southwest Corn Chowder is Packed with the Bounty of Summer Produce
This corn chowder is, of course, packed with corn. But also new potatoes, red bell peppers, and roasted poblano peppers.
Flavored with a generous amount of bacon, it's creamy, a little bit spicy, and tastes even better the next day, just like a good chowder should.
The broth contains a generous amount of enchilada sauce because, well, YUM.
You have the option of using prepared enchilada sauce or making a batch from scratch. And, I should mention that, "from scratch" is kind of misleading. If it was really "from scratch", it would start with a large bag of dried red chilies that you'd have to toast, soak and puree. I've done this and it's a pain in the you-know-what.
In my kitchen, "from scratch" enchilada sauce means starting with a package or two of frozen pureed red chili paste, requires only about 10 minutes of hands-on time, and produces a richly flavorful sauce that is immeasurably better than anything that comes out of a can. 🙌
Of course, if you choose to use the canned variety, your chowder will still be delicious. Making the enchilada sauce just makes this creamy Southwest Chowder even better.
To add even more smoky chili flavor, drizzle warm bowls of soup with Aleppo pepper oil. I pretty much always have a jar of this chili oil on my countertop because it's one of the easiest and most delicious ways I know to add a burst of chili flavor to anything.
#1. Homemade Tortillas.
Homemade tortillas are one of those things that sound like they would be a whole big afternoon project but actually only take about 30 minutes of hands-on time and are SO much better than the packaged supermarket variety they really should be in a whole different category.
The first time I made them, I knew I'd never be tempted to buy a package again. They are really that much better.
And, I get it. Adding an extra 30 minutes to your weeknight dinner prep isn't always an option. But, when you can, homemade tortillas are so totally worth it.
My favorite all-butter recipe for homemade tortillas is published on my other blog, Of Batter and Dough.
#2. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
How about serving bowls of creamy corn chowder with fluffy, tender buttermilk biscuits with hundreds of flaky, buttery layers? Yes please.
This recipe for homemade buttermilk biscuits delivers biscuits that are soft on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, and rise to impressive heights with layer after delicious layer.
#3. Buttermilk Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
In the Northern United States, cornbread is typically sweet and cake-like. In the Southern states, it's savory and light. In the Southwest, we add jalapeños and cheese.
This Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread is sweet, savory AND spicy, with a touch of brown sugar and honey, pickled jalapeños, and loads of cheese. And, it goes perfectly with bowls of Southwest Corn Chowder.
More delicious soups and stews:
- Vegetarian Chili with Pico de Gallo and Chimichurri Sauce
- Creamy Chicken Chili with Chorizo and Roasted Corn
- Spanish Potato Soup
- Potato Corn Chowder
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Garlic and Mushrooms
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
- 4 poblano peppers
- 4 cups of sweet corn (4-6 ears, depending on their size)
- 12 ounces (1 pound) thick cut bacon
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup enchilada sauce (*see note)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 24 ounces (1 ½ pounds) small new potatoes, scrubbed
- ½ - 1 cup heavy cream or buttermilk (to taste)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Place a rack in the top third of your oven and preheat the broiler. Lay the poblano peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and place them under the broiler. Roast until the skins of the peppers are almost completely blackened. Turn them over to blacken the other side. Remove the peppers from the oven, dump them into a bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let cool, then peel off the blackened skins and remove the seeds. Chop the peppers and set aside.
- Husk the corn and use a sharp knife to slice it from the cob. Heat a skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates almost immediately. Add the corn to the skillet and sauté until the kernels are about 50% blackened. Dump the corn out onto a plate or a bowl and set aside.
- Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and return the pan to the burner.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until it's soft and translucent. Add the chopped bell peppers, minced garlic, oregano, and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly 1 minute longer.
- Add the broth, enchilada sauce, and about 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to the pan. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Add the poblano peppers, corn, and ½ cup cream to the soup. Stir to combine, taste and add up to ½ cup more cream if desired.
- Stir in the bacon and chopped cilantro.
- No buttermilk? No problem. DIY Buttermilk: How to make your own
- For the Enchilada Sauce, use canned or frozen, or follow the instructions for Homemade Enchilada Sauce to make some from scratch. The recipe makes quite a bit of enchilada sauce; either make a full batch of sauce and freeze what you don't use in this soup, or make a half batch.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1710mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 25g