Thursday, November 4, 2010

Southwestern Corn-Potato Chowder

My husband is by all means a great eater. I don't recall many things he won't eat or at least try once. However, he is a huge flavor person. If the food is tasteless or bland he won't touch it. I've learned over the years that big flavors and especially a good amount of spice, will make him love pretty much anything. In the early years of our marriage I tried my hand at corn chowder. It was only received lukewarm and so I figured the time had come to give this soup another go. This time around I thought I would have a true winner on my hands if I went the Southwestern route and boy was I ever right. 

Looking all over the internet for a recipe for this chowder I came to find out very quickly that most of them weren't going to cut it and would just end up being another mediocre meal. My plan was to just take bits and pieces from several recipes and come up with my own version. This soup comes with a bit of a warning though. If you are a sissy when it comes to spicy food, then this is probably not the bowl for you, but if you love a good flavorful soup with a good kick, I encourage you to read on.

I started the soup by crisping up some bacon. See, already a step in the right direction! Sauteing onions in the leftover bacon flavored grease was the next step. Flour, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin made up my seasonings. For the stock I decided to go with chicken stock since that is what I had in my freezer, but you could certainly use vegetable as well. Potatoes are then added, and again I went with flavor by using the Yukon Gold variety. Once the potatoes are cooked nice and tender in the flavorful broth, I added frozen corn which I always have in my freezer and consider one of my convenience items. To add the final touch and to make this truly Southwestern, I decided on a combination of canned diced green chiles and minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce which added a wonderful smokiness to the dish. To "cool" the palate down, I went with some half-and-half which made the soup creamy, without making it too rich. For garnish, I used the previously crisped bacon bits and fried tortilla strips which my husband ever so kindly agreed to fry for me. They are simply flour tortillas cut into thin strips and fried in some hot oil before getting a sprinkling of sea salt.

Great soup, great flavors and you will definitely get warmed through and through with a bowl of this corn-potato chowder. This dish is going into my permanent recipe file and will be made many more times throughout the colder months.

Southwestern Corn-Potato Chowder
(Printable Recipe)


8 ounces bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken stock (vegetable can be used as well)
3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and medium-diced (about 1 pound)
4 cups frozen corn
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles
3 whole chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce, finely minced
2 cups half-and-half
Fried tortilla strips for garnish (optional)


In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the bacon fat, and cook until onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the corn to the soup, then stir in the green chiles and minced chipotle peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, add the half-and-half and cook for another 5 minutes. Check one more time for additional salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of the reserved bacon and fried tortilla strips (if desired).


  1. This looks so delicious!!! Since my husband was not here I made a slightly toned down version for me and the kids and it still tasted amazing. Adding potatoes definitely make it even more hearty and warming. Great recipe!

  2. Comforting bowl of tempting chowder..

  3. It's wonderful that your husband is a good eater. I bet it really helps when you want to try new and exciting flavors and recipes. This soup sounds wonderful and creamy, plus full of spicy flavors that I love. You did a great job of combining all those recipes into your own version.

  4. I am no sissy! I love spicy. In fact, the hotter the better. I would love to try this.

  5. This is what I'm talking about! Delicious! I wish I could say my guy is a good eater but he is such a picky eater. "I'm not a picky eater. You just have to make what I like." The fried tortilla strips make me giddy.

  6. Mein Mann ist kein Fan von Corn, aber bei dieser Suppe wuerde er bestimmt mehrmals Nachschlag holen. Das ist ganz nach seinem Geschmack. Sieht super lecker aus, Susi. Tolle Creation.

  7. This looks SO delicious, Susi! My absolute favorite soup in the fall/winter is a potato chowder, and this will fit the bill once it gets a little cooler here in SoCal. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I love all the spicy additions to your chowder. And what a beautiful soup with the bacon and crispy tortilla strips, which your sweetie made. The yellow bowl just sets it off!

  9. This looks great, but I do have to admit that I miss your Halloween posts. They were so fun! :)

  10. I love the combination of corn and potato. The soup looks very creamy and delicious!

  11. I wish I could bathe in that. Yum Yum YUM!

  12. We love spicy food in this house (at least the adults do!) so this would definitely be a great meal for us!

  13. Yum! What a great take on corn chowder. Love this spiced up version. Delicious looking bowl of soup!

  14. When you love to cook, it is great to have a husband and family who will eat it! Your corn chowder looks delicious. That's the beauty of cooking, you can create whatever you want too. This recipe is a keeper!

  15. Your chowder looks and sounds delicious. Your husband is a lucky man. Starting anything with crispy bacon is a winner in my book!

  16. Mmmm, boy, does that ever look good! Wow, I'd love to tuck into a big bowl of it right now.

  17. Yeah, corn chowder tends to be all or nothing! This looks like a fantastic version!

  18. Why do I look at your blog right before bed!:)This looks perfect Susi. I will try this recipe soon and let you know how it goes. :)

  19. I am 100% certain that my husband will absolutely love this!!! He is a big southwestern fan and a far bigger soup fan that I am. The two together will make him very happy!

  20. I have to agree that starting with bacon is a sure way to make a delicious soup. My vegetarian husband won't have it I may have to try to sneak this by him (just kidding...but I know it would taste better!). I adore southwest flavors, so I know that this would be a winner in my book. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I'm happy your soup was a success. Love that you used bacon for that depth of flavor. And you can't go wrong with a bit of cumin.

  22. Beautiful photos and the soup looks absolutely delicious!

  23. Your husband is a smart man! This looks fantastic! Definitely a must try!

  24. Just to let you know I finally got around to making this soup and my husband and I loved it. I used 2 chipotle peppers and that was perfect for us.

    I prepared the potatoes a bit differently. I used 4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes. I pierced them with a fork and then microwaved them, about 8 minutes in total, turning halfway during cooking. After the potatoes cooled a bit, I peeled them, and smashed 3 of them. I just kinda took the potato masher and smashed down on them 3 or 4 times. I never processed them as much as say mashed potatoes with gravy. The 4th potato I diced in bite sized pieces. I added the potatoes at the step where the corn is added. I still simmered the broth for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

    This way, the smashed potatoes sort of thickened the soup a bit more.

    Anyhow, thx for a great recipe, we loved it.

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