Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

Southwest Corn and Cheese Chowder

It’s not that there’s been terribly much going on in my life recently, but I’m having a heck of a time keeping up with this blog.  This really shouldn’t come as a surprise – I never was able to keep a diary.  The only thing I can actually get myself to do every single day with utter consistency is make tea when I wake up, and that’s a survival tactic.  I cook things; I take pictures; I start draft entries; and then I leave them sitting for weeks, if not months.

This, for instance, is the final soup that I made from my pre-chopped ingredients experiment what seems like a very, very long time ago.  It’s not that it stops being tasty if the blog post is weeks late.  It’s just that I don’t really remember what happened anymore.  I do vividly remember deciding to brighten things up with triceratops cheese toast, however.  That’s something you don’t easily forget.

I just recently discovered Annie’s Cooking Lab, and I found this recipe browsing through her posts on my google reader feed (another thing that I do sporadically, which means that either I read recipes for hours to catch up, or I miss things).  Annie just calls it “Corn and Cheese Chowder”, but after making this, I’ve renamed it “Southwest” because this is the kind of thing they trick you into thinking is chowder when you visit family in New Mexico.

We got off to a good start.  Butter and onions always go well together, and are essential in any chowder.

I knew I wasn’t in for traditional corn chowder, but I don’t think I was prepared for just how much of this soup consists of bell peppers.

Adding the broth changed the color a bit, but once it was stirred up it didn’t look too bad.  I used vegetable broth, but chicken might have given a bit more flavor.

Here’s where I made my first major mistake.  I used 1% milk.  The recipe calls for “milk (or half and half)”, which clearly means that “milk” means “whole milk.”  Anyone who knows their milk (or just anyone who can do basic math) knows that 1% and 4% are not the same number, and when it comes to milk, they are so radically not the same number that they shouldn’t even have  the same name.  I know this.  I do.  I was just, for some bizarre reason, trying to make this recipe healthier.   Serious, serious mistake.  The word “chowder” does not mean “healthy soup”.

That said, this soup was very tasty, and if I had actually made it with the right milk (or even maybe 2%), could have been delicious.  The peppers did throw me off a bit, and  if I make it again, I think I’ll cut the peppers down and increase the corn.  I might also blend half of it, and possibly add potatoes.  Chowder needs potatoes.

Corn and Cheese Chowder
Annie’s Cooking Lab

Makes: About 6 Servings


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (or half and half)
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until slightly translucent.
  3. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the frozen corn and cook for a minute.
  5. Sprinkle flour over the top of the vegetables and stir to combine.
  6. Slowly pour in broth and stir to combine.
  7. Allow to cook and thicken for about 4 minutes.
  8. Reduce the head to medium and stir in the milk.
  9. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Add the cheeses and green onions, stirring until the cheese is melted.
  11. Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If you decide to make neat shaped cheese toast, pick a cookie cutter shape that doesn’t have so many little pointy parts.  Cheese toast doesn’t like little pointy parts.


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