It's like summer and autumn are in cahoots, in every bowl.  Sunshiney, fresh, hot corny goodness, stoked up with charred poblanos, sweet onions, and earthy new potatoes. Wham bam a few salty, roasted pepitas on top, a squeeze of fresh lime, and boom shaka laka!


I don't know if it's just because, as these last few August days play out, subtle thoughts of fall, start pushing themselves on us, or what. But when I started making this chowder, I was thinking how summery it was, yet when I was ladling it out and putting on those crunchy pepitas, gloriously, autumny flavours were definitely staring back at me.  In a good way.


Roasting the fresh corn cobs, and poblano pepper, adds an extra depth of flavour.  You can do this on a hot BBQ grill, gas flame, or broiler.  I like to use my BBQ to char, it just seems fitting, and, besides that, it reminds me of Folsom Prison Blues ~ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ I hear the corn a poppin', a poppin' on the grill ... ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

After easy peasy charring, sauteeing and simmering, it's time to muddle things up a bit, with a blender, or even more fun yet, an immersion blender.  Blending about a third of the soup, while leaving the rest all chunky and happy, adds a bunch of texture and amps up the flavours of the whole shabang.

"A light wind swept over the corn, and all  
  nature laughed in the sunshine."
~ Anne Bronte


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Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod food blog, for The Last Wonton.
Thanks Maria and Josh for the corny goodness.
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4 ears corn, shucked
1 good-sized poblano pepper
2 tablespoons olive, or avocado oil + 2 tablespoons butter
1 small sweet onion, or 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 generous cups, bite-size diced or chunks of new potato
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
5 cups good quality chicken, or veggie broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
*Optional - 1/3 cup chopped cilantro*
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Toasty pepitas**, lime wedges, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional.

First char the corn and poblano pepper.  Heat BBQ to high.  Put cobs and poblano on hot grill, for about 10 minutes until blackened and blistered, turning every 2-3 minutes, to evenly char each side.

Put poblano pepper in paper bag and close up tight, and let sit for 10 minutes.  This will make it easier to peel.  Meanwhile stand each ear of corn up, stalk end down, and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the cob.  Remove skin and seeds from poblano pepper, and dice.  Set corn and peppers aside.

In a large pot heat oil and butter, over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the celery and cook for another 5 minutes, until onion is getting some golden edges and celery is soft.  Add garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute.   Add potato chunks, oregano, cumin, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper.  Add the broth, increase heat, and bring to a simmer.  Lower heat to maintain simmer, and cook 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are just fork tender.  Stir in roasted corn and cook for 2 minutes.

Transfer about a third of the chowder to a blender, and blend until smooth.  Stir the mixture back into the pot.  Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can blend the chowder, right in the pot.  But don't over do it.  You want some of those tasty kernels and yummy chunks.

Add the diced poblano, cream, cilantro if using, and lime juice.  Stir, stir.  Stir with salt and pepper to taste and get ladling.  Garnish with desired goodies, and serve hot.  Tastes like summer, with the subtle richness of autumn.  Mmmmm.

*****Toasty Pepitas ******
Toasting hulless pumpkin seeds or pepitas gives brings out their nutty flavor, puffs them up and gives them a little more crunch. Yum-O!  Thanks Getty Stewart for this great method!!

1 cup hull-less pumpkin seeds
A poof of sea salt

Place a heavy fry pan over high heat.   No oil.  Add pumpkin seeds/pepitas, to cover bottom of pan.  Add a poof of salt.  Stay with the pepitas, and give the pan a shake every so often.  As the pepitas heat they will puff up.  Keep shaking the pan until they've turned mostly golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Pour out of hot pan, right away, and allow them to cool.  Dig in!

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