Brrr, it is getting chilly out! Good things about cold weather:
1) It means the holidays are upon us
2) I get to wear comfy hoodies and fuzzy socks
3) I have the coziest cuddles with my dogs under big fluffy blankets
4) I have occasion to make and eat lots of warm, hearty soups
Yeah, that’s about it.
I really don’t like cold weather! But I DO like soups, especially this Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Chipotle. It is reminiscent of the Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Soup recipe I’ve previously shared, but this one is a chowder so it is creamier. And better yet, it has a very prominent and wonderful corn flavor due to all of the corn kernels PLUS the corn broth made from the reserved cobs! If you have never tried this technique before, I insist that you must. It makes a huge difference in flavor. I mean, if I were a contestant on Chopped, and corn was a mystery ingredient, I would win with this soup hands down :) Not to brag or anything.
The only unfortunate thing is that corn is now going out of season so it’s hard to find corn-on-the-cob these days. Sad face. But from what I hear, corn-on-the-cob is also sold frozen? I will have to investigate this the next time I try to make this soup and can’t find any fresh. I imagine it would work just as well.
One other note about this recipe: Normally I cut it in half because it’s just my husband and I eating it, and it becomes very thick, as shown in the pictures, almost like a “stoup” a la Rachael Ray. However, last night I made the full batch so that we’d have leftovers (which I am enjoying as I write), and it turned out thinner, like what you would expect from a chowder. I’m not sure of the cause of this difference because the proportions of ingredients were the same, but rest assured, the flavors are outstanding either way.
Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Chipotle
(adapted from recipe by Mark Bittman, The Food Matters Cookbook)
- Kernels from 6 cobs of corn, cobs reserved
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 2 canned chipotle chilis in their adobo sauce, to taste (OR if you can’t find it, use 1/4 cup or more of chipotle salsa)
- 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- Chopped cilantro, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the reserved cobs and 6 cups of water in a pot over medium-high heat and salt it. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the water bubbles gently and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the cobs steep until you are read to use the broth.
- Add the oil to a pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the scallions and chiptole and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute or until the scallions are soft. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cornmeal and some pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cream and the reserved broth and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Stir or whisk constantly until the cornmeal is dissolved and the soup begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the corn kernals and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn and sweet potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Add cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste.
Makes 5-6 servings.