Roasted corn and poblano chiles give this summer chowder a powerful flavor punch. It’s never too warm for a good chowder!
It’s not fall or winter, but calling it a chowder makes it perfectly acceptable to eat during the summer, right?
I sure hope so, because I ended up making this roasted corn and poblano chowder on the legit hottest day of the year so far. I am SUCH an awesome planner <insert sarcasm>. Actually, I really was such a better planner and much more organized before Joseph was born. I’d love to blame mommy brain (I mean, there ARE so many more balls in the air than there used to be!), but that seems like a cop out. I’m working on getting a better system in place for life as it is currently.
Anyway… sorry for that tangent! I DID make this on the hottest day of the summer so far because once I saw a recipe for roasted corn and poblano chowder, I couldn’t hold off until fall. I mean, fresh corn!
Thank goodness for air conditioning :)
I honestly don’t ever do much with corn during the summer other than eat it straight-up on the cob slathered in butter and salt. The corn we have had so far this summer has been absolutely amazing – super sweet and juicy – so I knew it would be perfect for a recipe like this chowder. Roasting it alongside the poblano chiles gave it so much pop, then throw in some potatoes, cilantro, lime juice and a little half-and-half, the flavors were simple yet perfect.
Part of the soup is pureed with corn tortillas, which thickens the chowder beautifully and gives it even more of an earthy corn flavor. Seriously amazing!
Topped with some Mexican cheese and crumbled bacon, this is absolutely worth eating while the corn is still fresh and in season!
Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler and preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the poblanos with 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Arrange cut-side-down in a single column against a short side of the baking sheet.
Toss the corn, remaining 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper in the bowl. Spread into an even layer over the rest of the baking sheet. Broil until the poblanos are mostly blackened and the corn is well-browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping the poblanos and stirring the corn halfway through broiling.
Place the poblanos in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the skins and finely chopped the poblanos; set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the bacon drippings and cook until the onion is softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken broth, potatoes, roasted corn and ½ teaspoon of salt to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Cook at a steady simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the half-and-half.
Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a blender. Add the tortilla pieces and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Return the pureed chowder to the pot and stir in the chopped poblanos. Return to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the minced cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Serve and garnish with the bacon and crumbled quest fresco.
Note #1: Half-and-half is commonly sold in the U.S. It is essentially a blend of whole milk and heavy cream - use this 50/50 substitution if you cannot find it where you live.Note #2: I couldn't bring myself to cook just 4 slices of bacon on a Sunday morning, so I made a big batch in the oven (how I normally cook bacon) and poured off the drippings. I approximated about 2 tablespoons of drippings for 4 slices of bacon, if you want to do the same and go straight to the onion.Nutritional values are based on one serving