Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recipe: Fiesta Corn & Potato Chowder

So it's finally here: our first real storm of the winter season, complete with rain, wind, and plenty of below average temps.  As someone who finds nothing good about cold, wet weather except for the fact that I get to wear PJ's with feet (yes, they make me look like I'm a giant four year old, but I don't care... I love them!), this evil storm thrills me not.  However, it does give me the excuse to have more soup than I normally would, and that goes extremely well with the aforementioned fuzzy, warm pajamas.

Though the weather was still relatively nice a couple of days ago, I made a batch of my Creamy Navy Bean Soup with Chicken & Veggies (sans bread bowls, as I had none) to prep myself for the upcoming storm, and it has served me well thus far.  Today, however, I was not only running out of said soup; I was also in the mood for something a little different.  I had all the makings of my Hearty Mushroom & Potato Soup ready to go, but wanted to save my mushrooms for a different recipe.  A quick scan of my cupboards resulted in a fabulous treasure trove of plenty of canned corn, so I decided to use those to make a quick, but extremely hearty & delicious chowder to chase away the cold.

Every time I make a new soup recipe, I'm overcome with excitement of how amazing soup can be, and this time was no different.  Seriously, Poor Girl?  You think soup is "amazing"?  Yes.... yes, I do.  As I've mentioned before, soup is filling, nutritious, and can make use of a whole bunch of ingredients you wouldn't otherwise think of using.  Today's soup is by no means exotic, but it does take care of a lot of the third major soup function: it makes use of a whole bunch of ingredients you wouldn't otherwise use.  Really, what else can I do with a ton of canned corn when it's 40 below (okay, it's like 45°, but to me, that is near arctic...)?  Combined with some red potatoes I had in Big Bowl and the last few red bell peppers from my urban garden (how lucky am I to still have a fruitful garden?!), this made for a hearty, filling, and delicious soup.

Now, I understand that it may be a bit odd to add the term "fiesta" to a dish that has no other traditional "fiesta" type ingredients except for the peppers & jalapeños.  I mean, heck... there's an entire tablespoon of thyme in this soup!  Not exactly a "fiesta" herb at all, right?  But fiesta means "party", and the different colors in this particular chowder are so lovely that they look like a ton of fun, as a party should be.  Therefore, this dish is named after the fun of the colors used in it: yellows, reds, greens, magentas... it's as beautiful a soup to look at as it is to enjoy.  Though the peppers are a prominent part of the chowder, they are barely sweet and only added at the end, in order to make the most of their textures & flavors.  Everything else in the soup is mild, rich and comforting, only making the crunch and spice of the sweet peppers all that more exciting. To make a more sinful soup, try adding about 3/4 cups of shredded cheese; otherwise, take heart in the fact that this soup is simple to make, good for you, and most of all, delicious.

Fiesta Corn & Potato Chowder (makes 6 servings; total cost per serving: $1.45)

2 cans sweet corn kernels, drained
1/2 c diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2 T olive oil
1 14 oz can chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 c milk
1 T thyme
1 T salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the oil.  When hot, add the onions & garlic and sauté until they become fragrant and just begin to turn translucent.  Next, add the potatoes, salt, thyme and black pepper, and cook until the potatoes begin to brown slightly.  Add the broth and bring to a low boil; simmer for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes soften.  Add the corn kernels and the milk and bring back to a low boil.

Remove about 3/4 of the soup mixture and carefully puree in a food processor or with a hand blender until completely smooth.  Return the puree to the pot, add the peppers, and bring to a slow simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, ladle into soup bowls, garnish with freshly ground black pepper, and enjoy!


  1. I love soup in cool weather. I am saving this and adding it to my always-growing "to make" list! :)

  2. I make a very similar Fiesta corn chowder- the only difference is that I add black beans and some chopped chipotle peppers (from the can). Crushed tortilla chips on top seem to make it extra "fiesta"

  3. Could I substitute some canned green chiles for the jalapeno? I really don't like the taste of fresh jalapeno.

  4. I think this soup is another thing that you could say you like about the cold, huh? GREG

  5. Beautiful soup! It sounds delicious.
    I don't have pj's with feet, but I love my Christmas socks with little rubbery no slip stars underneath.

  6. what a delicious blog! here is so many uncanny inspirations!

    have a nice time,

  7. Wow, this sounds delicious, the perfect way to warm up this time of year. Thanks for sharing!

  8. How do you think this soup would do with some turkey tossed in? I have so much...

  9. Thanks, everyone!

    @Greg, you're right! Definitely another reason to dig cold weather!

    @InEscape: I think adding leftover turkey in there would be fantastic!!! Wish I'd thought of that myself, actually. If you need other ways to get rid of your leftovers and love soup, here's another one of my soup recipes you can try:

    Enjoy! :)

  10. Great recipe! Tried it last night for dinner. However, I can't for the life of me figure out how you got six servings out of it! On a cold, chilly, blustery night, I managed three servings. Blending a bit of the soup really helped with the texture.

    One question: would you consider installing a "print" button? I did more running between kitchen and computer, then cooking. And, when I use the print function on my browser, I'm unable to print out the ingredients and instructions (only your introductory comments).

  11. @Edna: I guess it depends on the size of bowl you use! I have a fairly large soup bowl that's my favorite for hearty fare like this, and I was still able to get around 6 servings. The recipe also says it will serve 4-6, so you're not too far off the mark! :)

    As far as the print function goes, that's already in there! At the end of each post is the "Share" bar, and there's the option to email, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and *drum roll, please* print! Hope this helps! :D

  12. Great recipe! I've linked to it from my blog post at

  13. Does the T stand for teaspoon or tablespoon?

    BTW, I copied and pasted the recipe onto Word document so I could print just the needed info...

  14. i loved this recipe so much, i've also linked it from my foodie blog:
    hope you don't mind!! the only change i made, was i left out the hot pepper, because i felt the soup was spicy enough with the amount of pepper in it...but hubby and i both demolished the pot!! so good! thanks for the great recipe!

  15. this is sooooo delicious! I shared it with some friends on facebook, thanks so much!

  16. Made this for dinner tonight and absolutely LOVED it. I added some cilantro and used 1% milk instead of whole (trying to watch calories). THANK YOU!

  17. i added ground sage (about 2/3 T), a second jalapeno, a fourth potato, an extra half cup of chicken stock, and an extra half cup of half and half in addition to the milk (i used 1%). it stretched out the recipe a little further. yum!

  18. Great stuff - I fiddled with this a little bit by putting in serrano chiles (I like it REALLY) hot and actually added lump crab meat at the end... it was spectacular. Thank you so much. I LOVE CORN!

  19. Do you have a suggestion for what to do if you are too poor to own a food processor? I'm in a bit of a fix with a few of these recipes without one :P

  20. De-lurking to say we made this soup tonight (live in Australia, so it's winter here!) And it was delicious! We'll definitely be making it again, thanks for the recipe :)

  21. I like the soup with some lime juice in it. Sriacha to taste at the end. Don't knock it until you've tried it!

  22. Mmm that was amazing! Even my 3 year old ate it! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes :)



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