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Southwestern Sweet Corn Chowder

This soup is a vegan ode to the U.S.’s Southwestern cuisine. With New Mexican green chiles, sweet corn, chipotle chili powder, lime, cilantro, and squash, this vegan chowder is full of robust, fresh flavor, and comes together in 30 minutes or less. This recipe works terrifically for any season. When sweet corn, tomatoes, and zucchini are abundant in the summer, this soup is a spicy, savory delight. In the spring or winter, this soup is the right amount of fresh and comforting to chase away the gloomy days.

While I cut sweet corn off the cob for this recipe, feel free to use frozen sweet corn to save time. I also used dried epazote to add complexity, but you can also substitute dried Mexican oregano, if you don’t have it. You can change up the heat in the recipe, as well. If you like a much spicier soup, use more chipotle chili pepper or incorporate a can of hot diced green chiles, instead of using mild ones.

This recipe serves 4.

Southwestern Sweet Corn Chowder

1 medium red onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2-1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried epazote (OR 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano)

3 cups sweet corn (cut off the cob OR frozen)

1 medium red potato, cubed

1 medium zucchini, cubed

1 4 ounce can of diced green chiles, mild

3 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)

1 cup vegan milk (I used Good Karma Unsweetened Flax Milk)

1 medium tomato, diced

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt, to taste

1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add red onion, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Saute over medium heat for 7 minutes or until the onions are limp and somewhat transparent. Add chipotle chili powder, coriander, and epazote (or oregano). Saute another minute.

2. Add the broth, sweet corn, red potatoes, zucchini and diced green chiles to the pot. Bring to a boil, and then cover. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

3. Add 1 cup of the soup from the pot (draining off as much of the broth as possible) to a blender with 1 cup of vegan milk. Blend until smooth and then, add back into the large pot of soup.

4. Add the diced tomatoes, cilantro and juice from 1 lime into the pot. Cover with the lid, and simmer for 3 more minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if needed (more salt? Lime juice? Chipotle chili powder?). Serve immediately.

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