If you're in the mood for comfort food, this is your recipe!
smoky poblano corn chowder
Fresh corn and poblanos from the farmer’s market inspired me to make this chowder, which satisfies every taste bud, especially when you add lime at the end! The poblano peppers are considered a mild green chile, although occasionally you may get a hot one in the bunch. Any Mexican mild green chile will work in this soup. I like adding color with sweet red bell peppers too!
1lb smoky lean center cut bacon, chopped
1½ cups of roasted, peeled and chopped poblano chiles (usually 5 to 6 large)
3 sweet roasted red bell peppers, peeled and chopped
5 tbsp leftover bacon fat
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled, chopped into ½ inch chunks
8 ears of corn, (or 6 cups)
8 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons himalayan salt
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 limes, one sliced for garnish, one for juice
cilantro, scallions/small leeks for garnish
Cook bacon on a skillet and set aside. Reserve the oil.
Roast the chiles and bell peppers. There are different ways to do this. Place them directly on the flame of a gas stove. You can also roast them on a grill or under a broiler. They should be blackened all over. Place them in a bowl, cover and let them steam for 5-10 minutes, until they’re cool enough to touch. Use a paper towel to strip off the charred bits. Cut them open, remove and discard the stem, seed pod and inside veins. Coarsely chop the chiles and set aside.
Pour bacon fat into a heavy pot and turn on medium high heat. Add the onions and the celery, cook for 10 minutes until the onions and celery are softened and are beginning to brown. While the onions are cooking cut the fresh kernels of corn away from the cobs. Once the onions and celery turn golden, add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add potatoes and the stock to the pot. Add bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Increase heat then bring to a simmer and cook another 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the corn kernels to the pot and cook for 5 more minutes and turn off the heat.
Take 3-4 cups of the soup and puree in a blender to thicken the base. If you want it thicker you can use more. Place the mixture back into the pot and add the chopped roasted poblanos and bell peppers.
Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the cream. Add black pepper to taste. Top with scallions/leeks, cilantro and bacon. Sprinkle fresh lime juice and serve with a slice or two of lime.
I like to reserve a tablespoon of the fresh minced raw garlic and add it to the soup as a final step. Do this only if you are a garlic lover!
If you can’t find fresh poblanos you can substitute with canned green chiles.
For vegetarian option, skip the bacon and use vegetable stock.