Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poblano Corn Chowder (Cheat)

While walking down to the train earlier this week, I could "see my breath." So it's officially soup season. Unofficially, I've been making soup for weeks. The freezer at work is chocked full of containers of butternut squash soup with white beans and kale, lentil and swiss chard stew, and one of two servings of pobalno corn chowder, inspired by the version served at Whole Paycheck.

I actually made the soup twice in as many weeks, using the last of the season's corn and some poblanos I found at the market. The first go around was largely improvised based on what I had in the fridge -- leek for onion, chicken stock for veggie stock, fresh red pepper for roasted, and mashed potato for whole. Yes, I used Trader Joes' frozen mashed potato to thicken the broth. The potatoes, which come in pellets are actually really good and extremely convenient.

And you know what? The improvised version turned out a lot better than when I made it again by the recipe. Just goes to show that most soup recipes can handle a little improvisation...and that everyone should keep some frozen mashed potatoes in the fridge.

Roasted Corn Poblano Chowder


3 Poblano peppers
1 Red pepper (or .25 C. diced, roasted red pepper from a jar)
4 T. butter
1 Celery stalk, diced 2 Garlic cloves, minced 1 Onion, diced
.25 C. Flour
4-6 C. Stock
1-2 C. Milk
12 oz. Potatoes, either peeled and diced or mashed
2 C. Corn kernels
Freshly ground black pepper


Place red pepper and poblanos on foil and put under broiler, turning until all sides are charred. When blackened, place peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
In the meantime, melt butter in a large pot; sauté onion, garlic, celery, carrot.
Add flour to pot to make a roux. Cook over medium heat for five minutes before adding the stock and milk.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, add corn and mashed or diced potato. Carefully separate the blackened skin and seeds from the peppers. Important: Do not rise under water (you'll rinse away flavor too). Roughly chop the remaining pepper flesh and add to pot.
Cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste

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