As the air cools down and the leaves begin to change colors, we also flip the page on summer’s cool fruit salads and turn to warm chowders. Though Rhode Island’s history is steeped in traditional clam chowder – and everyone has their strong feelings in favor of clear or creamy iterations – this warming soup recipe takes advantage of a crop of the land rather than sea. Farm-fresh corn isn’t hard to come by throughout September, and the addition of poblano chilis adds a satisfying kick to this creamy chowder featuring potatoes, feta cheese, cilantro, and other wholesome ingredients. While dusting off your warm sweaters and fave pumpkin spice latte mug for fall, be sure to add this savory soup to your weekly meal rotation.
Poblano Corn Chowder
- 3 tsp and 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 poblano chilies, stemmed, halved lengthwise,
- 5 cups fresh corn kernels
- 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic presser
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound of potatoes, peeled
and cubed in to ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup half and half
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup feta cheese
- Scallions, chopped
- 1 tsp salt, divided,
plus more to taste
- Crusty sourdough bread
- Preheat the oven broiler to 500ºF. Carefully cut the corn off of the cob by placing a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl and holding the corn on top of the upside-down bowl while running a knife down the kernels. The kernels will fall into the larger bowl.
- Toss the poblano peppers in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and place them skin side up on a baking sheet. Toss the corn kernels in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, then spread them on the other side of the baking sheet. Broil for 10-15 minutes until the peppers are blackened and the corn is beginning to brown.
- While the poblanos and corn are cooking, heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then the chopped onions. Saute until they begin to become translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- When the poblanos and corn are done, remove them from the oven and take about half of the corn and set it aside.
- Add the garlic to the onion pot and stir for 60 seconds before pouring in the broth, ½ teaspoon of salt, cubed potatoes, and half of the baked corn. Bring to a vigorous simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in half and half. Using a hand blender, mix the chowder until smooth. If you want a few potato chunks in the chowder, blend it a little less. Chop the poblanos into small pieces and add them to the pot, along with the leftover corn, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Taste mixture for salt; the salinity of the broth that you use will determine how much is needed. I usually add at least ¾ teaspoon to the chowder.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and evenly distribute the feta over the top. Sprinkle with extra cilantro, chopped green onion, and any leftover corn kernels. Serve with a crusty piece of sourdough bread and enjoy!
A visit to any local farmers market almost guarantees the availability of corn this season, but why not take advantage of the crisp air and scenic drives by going straight to the source? Here’s a handful of farms where you’re likely to find fresh cobs for sale – though it never hurts to call or check online to confirm availability.
Carpenter’s Farm Stand, Wakefield
Confreda Greenhouses & Farm, Hope
Ferolbink Farms (Potatoes), Tiverton
Goodwin Brothers Farm Stand, North Smithfield
Morris Farm, Warwick
Old Orchard Farm, Manville
Pezza Farm, Johnston
Walker’s Roadside Stand, Little Compton