Creamy, chunky, delicious and healthy corn chowder! I kept this vegetarian. Though it doesn't actually contain any cream, it's made to taste creamy by blended potatoes. This is another of my go-to favourite soup recipes in my repertoire!
Ryan says I should have started a blog called "The Soup Queen." Baking and bread are my favourite things to make, but when it comes to cooking actual food, soup is probably my favourite. The possibilities are endless, soup is always easy, and who doesn't love a hot bowl of soup for lunch all through fall and winter?! They're great recovery food, too... I like to keep mine healthy and nutrient-dense. When I get chilly and a little hungry towards the end of my winter runs, a good number of hours has probably been spent over the years dreaming up which soup I'm craving to make next. I usually eat it with bread and salad on the side... I love to have cornbread with this recipe! (I haven't put my favourite cornbread recipe on the blog yet, so sorry for temping you with that!).
I have nothing against adding cream to soup, but a lot of the time you don't actually need it. This soup doesn't actually contain cream, but tastes like it because you take half the soup and blend it up. There are loads of potatoes in this recipe, which is an awesome trick to making soups taste creamy. The other half of the soup is left chunky. Big chunks of potato, peppers, and corn... it's the best of both worlds!
Sweet potatoes tend to get all the credit for being the "superfood," but I read an article once about how potatoes are actually just as incredible for you in different ways. I admittedly got pretty in to learning about potatoes (insert nerd emoji?). A major nutrient in potatoes is potassium, an electrolyte which aids in the workings of our heart, muscles, and nervous system. Can we please say "perfect for athletes"? They're also packed with Vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant and flu fighter. Of course, they're a carbohydrate, which we need to recover after workouts. Outside of potatoes, this soup is loaded with all kinds of vegetables.
This soup can easily be made dairy free by using a yogurt or sour cream made with alternative milk (oat, soy, coconut would be delicious, etc). It can also be made vegan just by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Here's how to make it
Soup is so easy! Just sauté your chopped vegetables in your soup pot with olive oil. Now add the corn, potatoes, jalapeño, spices, and garlic and fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add your broth and water, and let this simmer for 20-25 minutes until your potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat on the stove, and carefully transfer half your soup to a blender. Add your sour cream or greek yogurt to the blender, too. Blend it in to creamy oblivion, then pour it back in to the pot. Now you have a creamy, chunky, delicious and healthy chowder!
If you want to add some grated old cheddar to the soup, it's sooo good. I added about 3/4 cup. Stir in your cilantro and lime juice, and then add salt and pepper until it makes you smile. A friend of mine referred to salt as "tiny flavour crystals" the other day, which made me laugh. If you ever find your soup (or any food really!) is lacking flavour, just add a bit of salt! We need sodium as athletes, and if you're not eating a lot of processed foods in your diet it's definitely not something you should be afraid of. You would be shocked how much salt chefs add to the food you eat in restaurants ;) But that's what makes it taste so good!
Creamy Chunky Southwest Corn Chowder
Calories per serving: 246 kcal (about 2 cups)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups frozen corn kernels
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into ¾” cubes (I used 4 average sized Yukon Gold potatoes)
1 large red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)*, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1/2 lime)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Yummy optional garnishes: Grated sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream/greek yogurt, thinly sliced green onion, cilantro, and/or a tiny pinch of chilli powder
Chop your onion, peppers celery and potatoes in to whatever size you'd like them to be in your chunky soup. Chop your jalapeño and garlic in to tiny pieces.
In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they're translucent, then add the chopped red and green peppers and fry 5 more. Then add the celery, corn, potatoes, jalapeno, spices (chili powder, cajun and bay leaf) and garlic and fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the broth and water and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat low to maintain a gentle simmer. Put the lid on the pot, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked through and very easily pierced through with a fork.
Turn the heat off under the pot. Using kitchen tongs, remove the bay leaf. Carefully transfer about 3 cups of the soup (about half liquid, half solids) to a blender. Add the greek yogurt or sour cream to the blender as well. Blend it in to creamy oblivion!
Pour the mixture back into the pot. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. If you want, add ¾ cup of grated old cheddar.
Season it with salt and pepper until it makes you smile. If you ever find your soup (or any food really!) is lacking flavour, just add a bit of salt! We need sodium as athletes, and if you're not eating a lot of processed foods in your diet it's definitely not something you should be afraid of. You would be shocked how much salt chefs add to the food you eat in restaurants ;) But that's what makes it taste so good!
Serve it up! Top your bowl with cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream/greek yogurt, sliced green onion, more cilantro, and/or a sprinkle of chilli powder. You can store leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge for 7 days, or several months in the freezer.