It’s a chilly fall morning.
I slept later than usual. By the time I woke up after 8am, it was still dark in the house, thanks to juicy clouds covering the morning sun. The forecast is calling for a mix of rain and snow today, and with the temperature hovering at 36 degrees, I’m thankful for steaming hot coffee and cozy slippers.
It’s definitely a soup day.
I made a spicy corn chowder this week, hearty and delicious. It’s full of hot peppers – jalapeno and Serrano- and they bring a balance to the sweetness of the corn. I love making soups because the recipes are usually pretty straightforward, and the results are always satisfying. This chowder checks both boxes!
I’d intended to use fresh corn, possibly charring it before cutting it off the cob (yum). My local store had not ONE ear of corn, so I switched gears and used frozen organic sweet corn, instead. First up, a little prep time! I chopped up an onion, some garlic, a red bell pepper, three jalapenos, and a Serrano pepper. I left all of the seeds in because we like HEAT. (The recipe recommended that you remove the seeds from the Serrano.)
The corn was already prepped for me, so I heated some oil in a soup pot and tossed in the peppers. After a minute or two, I added the onion and garlic. I let the veggies get tender for 5-7 minutes, then stirred in the corn. Beautiful!
After another 5 minutes or so, I added some chicken broth, some chopped fresh basil, and a little garlic salt. I let the soup come up to a boil and then lowered it to ‘simmer’ for about a half an hour.
I’m not a huge fan of completely smooth soups, so I used my immersion blender to puree only part of the soup. I wanted some texture in there, but you could puree the whole thing if you like it that way.
In my mind, “chowder” means a little creaminess, so I stirred in a little heavy cream and also some cilantro. After a couple of minutes, I squeezed some fresh lime juice into the pot. I topped each bowl of chowder with plenty of cilantro and chunks of avocado. I served it with tortilla chips on the side for scooping. Let’s EAT.
Yummy! You could easily leave out the cream, and veggie broth would work in place of chicken broth. I think it would be scrumptious with a little bacon in it, or John’s suggestion: crab meat. I was surprised that with so many hot peppers in it, the soup was not overly spicy. The hint of lime freshened everything up.
It’s a perfect combination of sweet and heat, just enough to warm you up from the inside on a chilly fall day.
You know, like today.
Spicy Sweet Corn Chowder (adapted from Naturally Ella)
- 4 ears or 3-4 cups sweet corn
- 3 jalapenos, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Juice from one lime
- Teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Avocado for garnish
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté peppers, onion, and garlic until slightly tender, 5 minutes or so. Add corn and sauté for another five minutes. Stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup to your desired texture. Stir in heavy cream, salt, cilantro, and lime juice. Heat for a few more minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve topped with cilantro and avocado. Slippers preferred. YUM!
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