Southwestern Corn Chowder is a warm and comforting easy to make vegetarian soup that’s got a little spicy kick from the chipotle and poblano peppers. It’s filled with veggies, and it’s a great meal the whole family will love.
This is one of my favorite soups. I make it all the time. I love how easy it is to make, and how delicious it is. It’s chock full of yummy veggies, and it’s warm and comforting.
This Southwestern Corn Chowder is a hearty bowl of soup that will warm your soul. And after all, soup is good food!
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Some people look forward to pumpkin spice season. I look forward to soup season.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d eat soup all year round, regardless of how hot it is outside. But, my husband isn’t a big believer in a nice big bowl of hot soup when it’s hot summer weather outside.
So, I have to patiently wait for soup season. I even declared once that I was “hopeful soup-ing” when I wanted it to be colder and I made soup even though it was hot outside!
This soup is a medium-hot spice level.
There are two kinds of peppers adding heat to it. Both the poblano and the chipotle add a little spicy kick to the soup.
In case you’re wondering…
A chipotle is a dried and smoked jalapeño pepper.
And, when dried, the poblano pepper is called an ancho chili pepper (smoked or not). Sometimes you’ll see smoked poblanos erroneously called chipotles.
Chipotle paste or dried ground chipotle powder
I keep dried ground chipotle powder in my spice cupboard. I love the convenience of it, and it’s so shelf stable.
I also love using chipotle paste that I make from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce. Find the full instructions here. But, basically, simply dump the whole can – peppers and sauce and all, in a blender and puree.
I find that it makes all the spice level the same. No more pulling one chile out to find that it’s scorching hot while another one from the same can is medium spicy.
And I keep the chipotle paste in the freezer for longer storage.
Either the ground chipotle powder or the chipotle paste will work great in this recipe. And, it’s easy to measure either one.
Can I make it less spicy?
Want a more mild Southwestern Corn Chowder?
You can cut the poblano pepper in half and only use half in the soup.
You can cut the chipotle amount in half as well.
Topping the soup with sour cream as a garnish will also mellow the heat level.
Keep in mind that some peppers grow hotter than others too, so one poblano pepper might be more mild than another.
Use your favorite broth
What already tastes good to you is what will end up being your favorite.
I use Better Than Bouillon vegetable base for pretty much all of my cooking (if it’s not homemade broth). I like that it isn’t too salty, and how little space it takes to store so much broth.
Oh, and by the way, they have lots of different flavors of Better Than Bouillon to choose from.
If you aren’t used to vegetable broth, and you prefer chicken broth, use that.
There are lots of ways to add other flavors and textures to this soup.
Try adding a can of white beans for a little extra protein. Black beans would also work well.
Toss in a little shredded chicken
Mix in some shredded pepperjack cheese at the end for a cheesy soup
Add a handful of fresh spinach leaves to the soup for a fun green addition.
Of course cilantro and lime wedges are delicious!
Sour cream and cheese are always welcome to the party. Try cotija cheese on top for even more southwestern flair.
Toss some broken chips on top for a fiesta soup.
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Southwestern Corn Chowder Recipe
Southwestern Corn Chowder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 poblano pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder or 1 teaspoon chipotle paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pound baby potatoes quartered
- 3 carrots chopped
- 16 ounces frozen sweet corn
- 15 ounces canned cream-style corn
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped poblano pepper, chopped red bell pepper, chipotle, cumin, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers become soft.
- Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk and vegetable broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir.
- Add the potatoes and carrots, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.
- Stir in the frozen corn and the cream-style corn. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soup is completely heated through. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro for garnish.
If you have leftovers that have been refrigerated and reheated, you may need to thin them with a little extra broth or water, as the soup tends to thicken up in the refrigerator.