Poblano Corn Chowder

>> Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Poblano Corn Chowder

Is anything worse than a summer cold? Maybe Joe's was especially miserable because we had all sorts of fun things planned: a free concert at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, a couple of dinner parties, fireworks on the Fourth, a trip to Summerfest in Milwaukee. Or maybe it's the fact that a couple of small business owners don't get sick time or vacation pay; if we don't work, we don't earn. Anyway, Joe's superhuman immune system failed a week ago and he suffered greatly through a cold that turned into bronchitis and an ear infection.

While he slept for a couple of days, I looked up recipes that could heal him with summer-fresh vegetables. A gorgeous crop of sweet corn at the market and glossy dark-green peppers were my inspiration. The comforting, creamy soup loosened his chest congestion. Now, I'm not going to claim this is a cure for bronchitis, but it made him feel good. Soup healing is the best, and this soup is heavenly even if you aren't sick.

If you don't find poblano peppers, try green or red bell peppers in this chowder.


3 medium poblano peppers
3 ears of corn
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cremini (baby portabella) mushrooms, sliced
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream (we like Mexican crema best)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded chihuahua or colby jack cheese
2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


Heat a grill to medium temperature. Remove the husks from the corn and lay the cobs on the grill with the poblano peppers. Grill the corn until barely tender and slightly browned, then remove and let cool. Turn up the heat and char the poblano skins on all sides. Place in a paper bag and allow to steam for 30-60 minutes. 

Remove the core and seeds from the peppers and scrape off all the blackened skin, then coarsely chop the poblanos. Cut the kernels off the corn cobs.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and then saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until just tender. Add the corn, poblanos, and chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, salt and pepper, and cheese, and heat on low until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro, if desired.  We like corn muffins or corn bread with sweet green chiles with this soup.

Serves 4.


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