Friday, April 1, 2011

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is divine in the summer an early fall when the corn is perfectly fresh and sweet. But if you took some of that perfect corn and froze it, you can enjoy very good chowder in the off season as well. Here it's combined with red bell pepper (also frozen), a bit of sharp cheddar and some mild Southwestern spices.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
Water and/or stock (chicken or veggie)
1 red bell pepper, diced (frozen is fine)
3 cups corn kernels (frozen is fine)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes or so. Add the potatoes and enough water or stock to cover them. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 minutes or so.

Add the pepper, corn, salt and pepper, cumin, and chili powder and continue to simmer until the veggies are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chowder from the heat and stir in the milk, then slowly stir in the cheese so that it melts as you add it. Option: use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and corn a little bit to thicken the texture of the chowder. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6.

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