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.
Southwest Roasted Corn Chowder
- 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.