Here’s how it works: sweet corn comes home from the farmer’s market, you start the water boiling. Nothing compares to fresh corn on the cob dressed with melted butter and coarse salt. Only trouble is that the concept is so last season. Enter thoughts of a cooler-weather chowder, which I’ve been craving since spotting Sally’s corn and bacon version. I knew exactly what I wanted — a chowder that displayed both sweet and spicy flavors. So the logical next step was to cook with the poblano peppers we have from good old Alvarez Farm, and hey hey, it turns out that corn and chilies play well together. Looks like I’ve once again reinvented the wheel. Well, the potato in this recipe adds nice body, making for a chowder that’s a lovely and delicious use of the season’s bounty and hearty enough besides to make a meal.

Recipe: Corn and Poblano Chowder

4 ears yellow corn / 2 poblano chiles / ½ onion, minced / 1 tsp jalapeno, minced, or to taste / 2 oz pancetta, salt pork, or lardo, minced / 1 lb waxy potatoes, diced / 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves stripped / ½ cup whole milk or half-and-half / salt & pepper / sour cream / chives, minced

Cut corn kernels from their cobs and break cobs in half. Roast poblano chile under a broiler, then steam under a bowl, remove skin, seed, and chop finely. Meanwhile, heat a soup pot over medium. When hot, swirl in vegetable oil. Add onion, jalapeno, and pancetta and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add potatoes and continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add thyme leaves, corn cobs, and enough water to cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are tender, 12-14 minutes. Add corn kernels and re-boil, then reduce heat. Remove corn cobs, stir in milk or cream and cook 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour half of the soup into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Return soup to pot and stir in roasted chile. Serve immediately topped with sour cream and chive garnish, or refrigerate to eat within 2-3 days. Feeds 4.

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