once upon a chef

Southwestern Corn Chowder


– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter – 1 medium yellow onion, diced – 1 red bell pepper, diced – 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, and finely diced (save the seeds and ribs; see note) – ¼ cup all-purpose flour – 2 cups chicken broth – 2 cups whole milk – 2 teaspoons salt – 2 teaspoons ground cumin – ½ teaspoon ground coriander – 1 pound yellow, red or purple baby potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces – 3 cups fresh corn kernels, scraped from 4 to 5 raw cobs (see note) – ⅓ cup sour cream – 3 scallions, dark green parts only, thinly sliced – 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro – 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

If you're looking for new and interesting ways to use up fresh corn on the cob, this corn chowder is the ticket. Blending some of the kernels with the broth gives the soup a sweet corn flavor and lightly creamy texture. It’s filling on its own, but if you’d like to bulk it up, crispy bacon, shredded chicken, grilled shrimp or fresh lump crabmeat would all be delicious additions. And you can never go wrong with chips and guacamole on the side.


Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. After add the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeño to the pot.


Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.


Add the broth, 1 cup of the milk, salt, cumin, coriander, and potatoes; bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring once halfway through, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the remaining milk with 1 cup of the corn until smooth.


Add the milk and corn mixture to the soup along with the remaining corn. Simmer until hot.


Off the heat, stir in the sour cream, scallions, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.


Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with lime wedges.