This hearty chowder is a summertime superstar, when both fresh corn and poblanos are in full swing! Pencil in this recipe for a summery day when rain is in the forecast and comfort food is on your mind.
Fun fact: this recipe came to me in my dreams. I’m always dreaming up new recipes and have a bedside notebook chock-full of my scrawl to prove it! I swear, half of the time I’m trying to piece it together in the morning. Some people journal their feelings, I journal random flavor combinations and textures.This whole scenario makes me think of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry woke in the middle of the night to write down a standup joke but then couldn’t decipher what he wrote in the morning. I can relate all-too well!
Roasted Poblano and Corn Chowder
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 large plate big enough to cover the bowl
- 1 slotted spoon
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot
- 1 immersion blender
- 4 poblano peppers this will yield at least 1 cup of roasted, peeled, and chopped poblanos; may sub canned chiles in a pinch
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ lb bacon sliced into 1 inch pieces;I prefer a thick cut
- 1 cup shallots diced; may sub white, yellow, or red onion
- 1 cup celery diced
- ½ cup carrots diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ½ lb baby Dutch yellow potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 chicken bouillon cube optional; it does add nice flavor
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups corn fresh, frozen, or canned
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 lime sliced into wedges
- 1 scallion sliced, for garnish; optional
- Cotija cheese crumbled, for garnish; optional
- homemade croutons for garnish; optional
- cilantro for garnish; optional
Roast the Poblano Peppers
- The goal is to char and blister the peppers all over without burning the insides, then peeling off the char once poblanos have cooled. Roasting whole poblano peppers lends another depth of flavor to the chiles. There are methods to roast peppers/chiles, my favorite being directly over a gas burner because it's the fastest. Gas Stovetop: Make sure your cooking space is well ventilated by opening a window and/or turning on your range hood. Turn your gas burner onto the highest setting. Place the chiles directly on the metal grates over the gas burner. It's highly important you pay attention because we are cooking directly over the open flame. Watch as the skin starts to bubble and turn black, about 1 minute. Rotate the poblano to another side using a pair of tongs. Continue this process until all sides are charred. I normally do 2 chiles per burner and have 2 going at the same time. Again, please PAY ATTENTION!Grill: Place chiles on the grill over high direct heat. Rotate every few minutes until they're blackened all over.Oven Broiler: Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the poblanos on the lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check on and turn the poblanos every few minutes, until all sides are charred.
- Place the roasted poblanos into a medium-sized bowl and cover with a plate; leave covered for 10 minutes. The steam from the chiles will help loosen the charred skin, making it easier to remove.Test to make sure the roasted poblanos are cool enough to handle. Once cooled, use wet hands or paper towel to wipe off the charred skin. Cut a slit in the pepper and remove seeds and membranes; finely chop.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel; set aside for later.
- You want at least 3 tbsp of fat left in your pot, remove any excess if you wish. Add the onion, celery and carrots; stir to coat. Lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking until softened and just beginning to brown.
- Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, cumin, coriander, bouillon cube, chicken stock, and a good sprinkling of salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to to maintain a low simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the corn to the pot and cook for 4 minutes. Add chopped poblanos and bacon; cook for another 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and remove bay leaves. Stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper.
- If you want to add more creaminess or a thicker base to the soup, use an immersion blender or blend ⅓ of the soup in a stationary blender.
- Ladle soup into bowls and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Garnish with crumbled cotija cheese, homemade croutons, scallions, and cilantro (all optional).