I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this soup since I made it two weeks ago. I thought a potato corn chowder sounded great, and remembered a poblano potato soup my friend Katie had posted. I didn’t have any poblanos on hand, but I did have a couple bell peppers. So I went with that, added a little bit more corn, and topped with some cilantro before serving for a Southwestern twist.
I used bacon this time around, but I’m thinking that chorizo might be a nice addition and spice it up even more – so I’m looking forward to trying that rendition next time. The tender potatoes and sweet corn, along with the colorful peppers made for a perfect marriage of flavor. And the cilantro on top was just the bright, fresh kick that it needed.
It was reminiscent of my favorite Loaded Baked Potato Soup – but much lighter in flavor without the addition of a bunch of sour cream. We all went back for seconds the first night I made it, and Andrew even went back for a third bowl. I enjoyed leftovers for lunch the majority of the rest of the week – and it was one of those things that I was very sad when it was finally gone. It’s definitely going to be making an appearance on our menu again very soon!
Southwest Potato & Corn Chowder
8 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
8 cups chicken broth
4 cups starchy potatoes (Russet or all purpose), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb frozen corn kernels
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Pepper Jack or cheddar cheese, for serving
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
Cook bacon in a large stock pot until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Reduce heat to medium and add the butter, onions, and bell peppers. Cook 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an addtional minute until fragrant.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook 3 minutes. Slowly add in broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Add the corn, as well as the half-and-half to the soup and cook for about 15 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you want a thicker consistency, give the chowder a few mashes with a potato masher to break down some of the potatoes and thicken the mixture.
To serve, ladle chowder into bowl. Top with cheese, bacon, and fresh cilantro.
Source: adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy