Wow that’s a lot of C’s! I became slightly obsessed with an Ancho Chili Corn Chowder from a restaurant in my neighborhood a few years back. My girlfriends and I would go for drinks and the chowder every couple months. One day they took it off the menu and that was the worst day of my life.
Just joking, the worst day of my life was the day that the last episode of Friends aired.
Since the days of that spicy corn chowder, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Sweet corn in a smoky and spicy potato soup. Yum! Just what you want to eat when the day starts out sunny and beautiful, eventually changes to rain and then snow, which freezes overnight and then you see two car accidents on your 5 minute drive to work the next morning. Yeah, one of those kind of days.
I was also chased to my car by a dog this morning. I really wish I was joking.
I roasted the corn to bring out the sweetness, and give it a nice charred look and taste.
Now let’s talk about soup toppings. This is very important people! Soup toppings take regular old soup to new heights. I fried up some flour tortilla strips and topped the soup with those, along with aged cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. The sour cream is really nice because it cools down the spiciness of the soup, just in case you can’t handle the heat!
Yum yum! Spicy, creamy, sweet, crunchy, smoky.
Make this tonight, whether you were chased by a dog today, or not.
Chipotle Chili Corn Chowder:
4 ears of fresh corn
1 tbsp butter
1 whole sweet onion, diced
1 4.5 ounce tin diced green chilis
3 tbsp Chipotle Chili Powder*
3 cups peeled and diced russet potato
7.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
Canola oil for frying
2 8 inch tortillas cut into thin strips
1 cup grated aged cheddar
1 cup sour cream
*I found this chipotle chili powder at my grocery store because they didn’t have ancho chili powder. If you can find ancho chili powder use that!*
Start by roasting your corn over a gas range. You could also use a barbeque or your broiler to do this. We aren’t looking to cook the corn, just to char it slightly. I just used tongs to move the ear of corn around the gas burner to get it evenly charred. If you’re really lazy or scared of fire, you can skip this step, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Once all your corn is done, slice the kernels off of the cob and set them aside. Do not throw away the cobs!
In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter until bubbly. Add the diced onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chilies, juice and all, and give it a good stir. Allow it to cook for another 2 minutes or until the juice from the chilies has evaporated. Add the chipotle chili powder and stir until combined. Add in the potato, chicken broth, corn cobs only, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and allow the soup to simmer for 2 hours.
While your soup is simmering, in a shallow pan, add about half an inch of canola oil and heat over medium high heat. Test the oil by dipping the edge of one of the tortilla strips in, if it sizzles and boils, it is ready. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set aside.
When the soup has been simmered for 2 hours, remove the corn cobs and discard. Grab a potato masher or wooden spoon and “smush” the potato slightly, there may be some small chunks of potato but it should be mostly broken down into the soup. Add the cream and corn, stir well, and cook for another 5-6 minutes.