Hearty Southwestern Corn Chowder

2 quarts

Seasoned with poblano chiles, cumin, and cilantro, this chowder honors corn's Southwestern roots.


  • 4 ounces bacon (5 or 6 slices), cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 1 fresh small poblano chile, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice

  • Coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium storebought chicken or vegetable stock

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)


  1. Heat a dry large pot over medium heat. Add bacon pieces, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a spatula or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

  2. Add onion to pot; cook until just softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and poblano; cook until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the cumin, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the cayenne. Raise heat to high; add wine. Cook until most liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Stir in corn and cream; cook until corn is tender (do not let cream boil), about 5 minutes more. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and reserved bacon pieces; add hot sauce, if desired.

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