I used to LOVE the Corn-Poblano Chowder from Whole Foods (recipe below). What am I saying, I still do… but it is loaded with fat and calories, and is also not vegan or gluten-free… not exactly fitting the lifestyle I would like to have, not to mention it makes me sick an hour or so after I eat it. For months now I have wanted to attempt to recreate the chowder and have it come remotely close.
Here is the original recipe:
Whole Foods Roasted Corn Poblano Chowder
Serves 6 to 8
3 medium poblano peppers
Olive oil for roasting peppers
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
2 large cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk (or half & half)
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, washed and diced unpeeled (or Yukon Gold)
1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (in jar), chopped
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
* Lightly coat poblano peppers with olive oil and place on pan for roasting. Place pan under oven broiler until peppers are charred (about 5 minutes); turn over and char other side.
* Remove peppers from oven and place in paper bag; roll top of bag to trap steam. Allow peppers to sit for 10 minutes.
* Remove steamed peppers. Set aside to cool. Peel, remove stem and seeds, and chop.
* In a large, heavy soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add celery, garlic and onions and cook till translucent, about 5 minutes.
* Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter till melted. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, careful not to let the flour scorch.
* Turn up heat to medium-high and slowly add the vegetable stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add milk.
* Bring mixture to a rolling simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
* Add the potatoes, poblanos, corn and red peppers.
* Adjust heat to a slow simmer and cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Season with salt and cayenne pepper; serve.
– Whole Foods Market
Nutritional information per serving: 362 cal., 12 g fat (7 g sat), 29 mg chol., 57 g carb., 11 g pro., 6 g fiber, 595 mg sodium
Today I made the first attempt, and no… the recipe will not be posted here, yet. It needs work.
First, I roasted the poblanos last month when I was going to make my attempt, and due to lack of time I froze them after roasting and chopping. This bumped up the heat a bit so my chowder is a bit on the “call the fire-department” side, in a sweet-heat kind of way.
Second, it’s too sweet. This seems odd after saying how much heat is packed in it. I am the first to love sweet-heat, but this is too sweet and I know why… I used leeks in the base mire poix because I wanted to try to not use potato and wanted to see what the leeks would do to the flavor. I think they added a bit to the sweetness, while the potato would have dulled down both the heat and the sweetness. Trouble is, I want to try to hang on to the leeks… I like the flavor they added to the broth.
Third, it’s too runny. for my first attempt I eliminated the butter-flour mixture, and the whole milk, and used a container of So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt instead of the roux and So Delicious Coconut Creamer, thinned with vegetable broth, instead of the milk. It’s going to need the roux. I think arrowroot flour and Earth Balance will be the base for my next attempt… and I will use coconut milk instead of the creamer. This may help with the sweetness, also.
Overall, it is good. I am freezing half of it to eat a few weeks from now, but will eat this half the next few days/nights for lunch and dinner with a slice of gluten-free whole grain (not vegan) bread from Udi’s… to help with the heat.
Over-all not a bad first attempt, but I am glad I am alone to eat it. And (bonus) it is much healthier than the Whole Foods counterpart, even if it’s not as creamy-dreamy.
Any thoughts on how to keep the carbs down (no potato) and help balance the sweet of the corn and coconut milk?