Friday, February 15, 2013

Spicy Corn Chowder

One of the recipes I have made for as long as I can remember is corn chowder.  It is probably one of my most favorite Fall/Winter meals; it screams comfort to me.  But my old version had lots of “cream of’s…” in it…cream corn, cream of chicken soup, heavy cream, etc.  I have been wanting to make a lighter version and wanted to try to use less processed ingredients.  Still, those cans can sure make things move pretty quickly, huh?  Well, after a little bit of searching I found a similar recipe at Cooking Light only they used crab and I didn’t have crab on hand, so I subbed canned chicken.  I’m not normally a fan of canned meat, but I swear in a pinch, it’s quick and surprisingly delicious!

No need to worry that this is a weekend soup, I didn’t have anything prepped and this came together within an hour.  Perfect for a weeknight!  Save YOURself even more time and have everything ready to go; you’ll be enjoying creamy, comforting goodness in no time flat.

The name of this soup is pretty accurate; the poblano adds a lot of spice!

1 medium poblano chile (roasted, peeled and diced; see below)
1T butter
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1T crumbled bacon (I used Hormel Real Bacon Pieces)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Cayenne (ground red) pepper
1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn kernels
1 cup fat free half-and-half, divided
1 medium/large russet potato, peeled and chopped  
2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
2T all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% reduced-fat milk
1 (10-ounce) container 98% premium chicken breast, or 1 ½ cups leftover cooked chicken, cubed


Preheat broiler.

Place pepper on a piece of aluminum foil and broil approximately 8 minutes on each side or until blackened.  Then place the pepper in a small plastic bag & seal. Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Peel and chop.  I always remove the seeds since the seeds have tons of heat.  It’s easiest to do this by cutting the pepper around them (they stay nice and neat on the inside; you might get a few stragglers.)

In a Dutch oven or large soup pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion, salt, sugar and cayenne to pan; sautéing approximately 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corn; sautéing 2 minutes.

Remove about ½ of the corn mixture from pan and combine it with ¾ cup half-and-half in a blender, processing until smooth.  Set aside.

Add potato to pan; sauteing about 2 minutes.
Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook approximately 6 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Reduce heat to medium.

Combine remaining ¼ cup half-and-half and flour in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.

Add flour mixture to pan. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Return corn puree to pan.

Stir in poblano pepper, milk, and chicken bringing to a simmer. Cook about 3 more minutes, stirring frequently, then serve!

We had ours with some crusty French loaf; a perfect accompaniment!

Serves 4
Calories 331 / Carbs 47g / Fat 7g / Protein 22g / Fiber 4g / Sodium 1039mg

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