Santa Fe Chowder
This thick chicken, potato, corn, and green chili chowder is popular in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area, especially in winter. My version works best in the slow cooker (but can be prepared on the stove top) and there are several options for finishing and serving the soup. Go ahead and add a diced jalapeno to the onion mixture if you want it spicy. (For a similar, vegetarian/vegan corn soup, see my RV Sopa de Elote recipe.)
1 Tablespoon olive oil, vegetable oil or butter
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles (hot or mild, your choice), do not drain
7-ounce can salsa verde (I use Herdez brand)
One large Russet potato, peeled and cubed bite-size (about 1 pound)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed bite-size
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves
Crumbled bacon (traditional)
Heat a small skillet, coat with the oil or butter and sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until soft and beginning to brown. Remove from heat and scrape the onion mixture into a slow cooker. Add the canned green chiles, salsa verde, cubed potato, diced raw chicken breast, frozen corn, cumin, paprika and salt. Pour the chicken stock over and stir well. Cover and cook on high four hours, or on low 8 hours. Serves 4-6.
1. Serve as is, with optional garnishes.
2. Use a hand-held potato masher to thicken the chowder a bit. Serve with optional garnishes.
3. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the heavy cream and/or the shredded cheese to thicken the chowder. Stir well, serve with optional garnishes.