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October 18, 2011

Recipe for corn chowder with chipotle cream


For a moment, I considered showing you a photograph of me licking the pot after Kathy, my cooking assistant, and I finished eating this soup and packing up the leftover (which, believe me, didn't last long). The smoky richness of chipotle seduces me, and I couldn't stop tasting, and tasting again, and finally digging into an entire bowl for lunch. And, for dinner, I had another bowl. I couldn't get enough of it, and I hope you feel the same way when you try it. The recipe calls for frozen corn kernels, available at any time of year, and smoky-hot chipotles, which should be a fixture in every cook's pantry. Pureé the soup to any texture you like. Me? I leave half the corn kernels whole, but you can go all the way to silky smooth.

Corn chowder with chipotle cream

Serves 4 as a main dish, with salad and bread on the side.


1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
16 oz frozen organic corn kernels
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme)
4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought), divided
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven or small heavy stock pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion briefly over medium heat, just until translucent.

Add the corn and thyme leaves, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add 3 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, whisk together the chipotles and cream in a measuring cup, and set aside.

After the soup has cooked for 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, pureé the soup to the desired texture, chunky or creamy smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool for 10-15 minutes, then pureé in batches in a stand blender or food processor, and return it to the pot.

Return the pot to the stove, and set at lowest heat. Stir in the chipotle cream. If you want a thinner soup, add some or all of the remaining 1 cup of stock. Taste, and add salt and black pepper, to taste (if you use store-bought stock, you might not need any salt).

Serve hot. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Lora | October 18, 2011 at 04:23 PM

When you say to add chipotle peppers minced, are you using chipotle in adobo and just draining off the sauce? The soup sounds wonderful and I know my son will especially love this.

Posted by: Lydia | October 18, 2011 at 04:26 PM

Lora, that's exactly what I mean, and I'll update the recipe to be more clear about that. Thanks.

Posted by: CJ McD | October 18, 2011 at 06:40 PM

If you don't want bits of chipotle, you could give the chipotle and cream a whirr in the blender or with your immersion blender.

Lydia, This recipe is making my mouth water! What a perfect soup for fall. I'm even thinking about making this for a non-traditional Thanksgiving starter. Thanks!

Posted by: pam | October 18, 2011 at 08:36 PM

Oh wow! This sounds fantastic, I'd be licking the bowl too!

Posted by: Lydia | October 18, 2011 at 09:18 PM

CJ, yes, absolutely, you can blend the pepper in. I chopped mine really well, so it was more of a puree.

Pam, I guarantee you'll be tempted. I just love the flavor of chipotle peppers in soup, and with the sweet corn, it was heaven.

Posted by: Kathy - Panini Happy | October 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM

This sounds fabulous! And I have a few chipotles leftover from the weekend...I think they need to go into this soup.

Posted by: Shirley @ gfe | October 19, 2011 at 09:55 PM

Lydia, I want this right now! It looks and sounds so good. :-)


Posted by: Lydia | October 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Kathy, the combination of corn and chipotles is so southwest!

Shirley, delicious, truly. And gluten-free, if you use homemade stock, isn't it?

Posted by: Christine Wendel Farrugia | October 20, 2011 at 09:21 AM

This will be my second soup of the fall season:—). Just made the Italian wedding soup (eating as I am typing) and your meatballs out-do mine!

Posted by: Lydia | October 20, 2011 at 09:43 AM

Christine, I adore your version of Italian Wedding Soup -- tiny meatballs and kale. Yum!

Posted by: Leigh Ann | April 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I just made this, and it was yummy. For my personal taste, it was thinner and hotter than I'd want, so next time, I'd start with only two cups of the chicken stock and one chipotle.

We ate it with focaccia bread, which added beautiful taste when soaked in the soup.

I love that you call for low-sodium or homemade stock and then adding salt, by the way. Makes perfect sense; that way, you can easily control your sodium.

Posted by: Lydia | April 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Leigh Ann, thanks so much for stopping back to let us know you enjoyed the soup. I love the idea of adjusting soups to your own taste, and always consider my recipes to be just a starting point for your own creation.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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