Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kickin' corn chowder

I love soup. When the weather starts to cool down I immediately start thinking about what soup I feel like making. Sometimes I just throw everything left over in the refrigerator in a pot with water, add a little of this and that and call it a meal. Other times I stick to a recipe.

I found this recipe years ago in an old issue of Bon Appetit. This corn chowder has become one of my go-to recipes when I want to make something special. It's a nice blend of flavors with just the right amount of spiciness.


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 large poblano chilies,* seeded, chopped
2 14 3/4- to 15-ounce cans cream-style corn
1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Mix 2 tablespoons butter and flour in small bowl to blend; set aside.

Finely chop onion and celery in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion-celery mixture and chilies; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add creamed corn and next 5 ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Add shrimp and 4 tablespoons cilantro; simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Yield: 12 first-course servings, or 6 main-course servings

* Fresh poblano chilies, often called pasillas; available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets.

* For a nice variation, substitute chipotle chili powder for the cayenne pepper.

* I've made it without the cream, to reduce the calories, and without the shrimp for my vegeratian friends. It was great both ways.


  1. This soup is awesome. I have made many, many times. I remember at first thinking ... 'shrimp?', huh. But it works, and is a great combo of flavors! You know callicook, I didn't realize I had so many of your recipes. We must have good taste ;)

  2. So what was the occasion for this wonderful soup? Must have been something very special.

  3. All CaliCook's dinners are special. Don't you know, Father Time?

  4. Dear Cyrhen, Yes, we have exchanged many recipes over the years. And yes, I think we have good taste too. Some of my favorites are from you. Thanks.

  5. Dear father time,
    This soup was served at a 60th birthday of a very special man. It was a fabulous meal, with several great chefs/friends contributing to the event. Everything was wonderful!