Anything topped with salty crumbled cotija cheese is my kind of soup. This didn’t start out with the intention of being southwest-inspired, but as I chose ingredients – poblanos! lime juice! cilantro! – there was no doubt we needed to steer that direction. And oh, I’m so glad we did.
Bacon adds some flavor but it isn’t everything – ignore it for vegetarian chowder! You can go a step further and substitute non-dairy milk for the heavy cream to make this vegan, although it will lose some creaminess.
You can substitute 4 cans of whole-kernel corn if fresh corn isn’t available or you need to clean out the pantry. Drain cans well before roasting on a sheet pan.
- 4 ears corn husked
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2 red bell peppers
- 6 slices bacon diced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 1 lb. potatoes finely diced
- 1 cup beer
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- salt to taste
- cotija cheese crumbled
- lime wedges
Roast corn cobs, poblanos, and bell peppers under the broiler, turning frequently. Keep a close eye and remove when starting to char; this will take a different amount of time for each.
Cut corn kernels from the cob and dice poblanos & bell peppers.
Cook bacon in a large stockpot for 4-5 minutes, then add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Remove contents to a bowl and set aside.
Add half the roasted corn kernels, chicken broth, and potato to the stockpot. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Blend soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in two batches in an upright blender, then return to pot.
Add remaining corn, poblanos, peppers, bacon mixture, and beer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and stir in heavy cream, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, and salt.
Serve hot topped with cilantro and cotija, with lime wedges on the side.