It’s sweet corn season! I don’t know about you, but when delicious, delicious corn on the cob is 6-for-$1, I buy some… and then I buy some more. I buy a lot of corn this time of year, and the hubby grills it up in the husks. We eat it on the cob with homemade aioli and crumbled queso fresco, or just with a nice pat of butter. We make it into relish, we sprinkle it onto grilled pizzas, and whatever we don’t eat right away, we strip off the cob and freeze.
I have been wanting to make corn chowder with some of that frozen stash, but I couldn’t find a recipe that was just right. I wanted to use some of my Hatch green chiles, since I thought the two late-summer flavors would go together beautifully. I didn’t want anything with potatoes or cauliflower, for the simple reason that I didn’t want to go out and buy any. And, since I was initially inspired by this recipe for cheesy corn chowder, I wanted some cheese in it. So, I pieced together my own recipe, and guess what? It was freaking amazing.
I used a bit of corn meal to thicken the soup (as per this Pioneer Woman recipe), and it worked like a charm. The flavors of the sweet corn and the spicy and smoky green chiles were perfect foils for each other, and they blended harmoniously with the creamy broth. Finished with just a bit of sour cream and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, the perfect corn chowder was mine. The hubby and I both had two bowls, and there was plenty leftover for all three of us for lunch. Hooray!
Corn-Squash Chowder with Hatch Chiles
2 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 small summer squash, diced*
4-6 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped**
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups corn (from about 4 ears), cooked and stripped from the cob
3 Tbs corn meal
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream for garnish
Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large stock pot. When the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, summer squash, and Hatch green chiles and stir until the squash is softened, about 3-4 more minutes. Add the salt, cumin, and chili powder and stir to combine.
Add the vegetable stock and cream and bring just to a boil. Stir in the corn. Whisk the corn meal and water together in a small bowl and add to the pot. Return just to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender,*** blend until smooth, but with some chunky texture remaining. Add the shredded cheeses and stir until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and some nice crusty bread on the side.
* If you don’t have the squash, you can just add an extra cup of corn in its place.
** You can use a can of green chiles if you don’t have the Hatch chiles… but they are really worth it if you can find them.
*** You can also cool the soup slightly and then blend about two-thirds of it in a conventional blender. Return the blended portion to the pot and heat gently before adding the cheese.