A few weeks ago Howie and I decided that we really fancied a good, hearty winter soup (or Spicy Corn Chowder as it turns out) to keep us going through the dark winter months.
Hamburg, (my humble place of abode) has some of the coldest, harshest winters that I’ve ever seen, and even Howie’s sunny clime of Barcelona gets a bit nippy from time to time (well, so he claims. I’d imagine it’s always sunny in Spain).
And so, the search for the perfect winter soup began.
We researched, tried and tested many different recipes and methods (good fun!) whilst following the mantra for our blog – that our food needs to be vegetarian, (or vegan when possible), take less than thirty minutes to make, be healthy, taste great, and be simple enough to throw together that even the least talented of cooks will be surprised with their outcome.
Initially, we found most of the soups to be a little ‘watery’. We wanted something more hearty, more filling. So we moved on to chowders.
What is a chowder anyway? And why is it different to a soup?
Some argue that a chowder must be thick and creamy, some say it must contain real pieces of veg, and certainly can’t be pureed.
We don’t care what this recipe is called. At all. But we do know that these creamy soups were just what we were looking for.
Corn seemed right, and my love for cheddar cheese will likely never go away so that seemed like a good idea too. We started again.
Our next problem was the cooking method. We needed the soup to be thick but quick, and didn’t fancy using cream – low fat milk was our limit.
Nothing really worked as expected, and we were both disappointed. We left the recipe unfinished, languishing at the bottom of our ‘to do’ list.
A couple of weeks later I was making a bechamel sauce. As the butter and flour (known as a ‘roux’) mixed together and made the sauce really creamy and dense, I suddenly knew we had our answer.
If anything, it was now maybe a little too thick!
Howie suggested using some stock instead of one of the cups of milk – and our very own corn chowder (or soup?) was born.
Health Benefits – Spicy Corn Chowder
Whatever you say about milk and cheese – they’ll always provide you with protein!
A lack of protein can be dangerous in it’s own right – leading to ailments including growth failure and decreased immunity (1).
And if you’ve been working hard in the gym then you’ll be needing extra protein to make sure those muscles grow as they should.
One last thing – the ingredients are all nice and simple – you shouldn’t have to search far and wide for everything you need.
You might even have it all lying around at home. We hope you enjoy eating it as much as we enjoyed making it!
Spicy Corn Chowder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 large knob butter
- ½ medium onion (diced)
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour (or rice flour to make it gluten-free)
- 1 can sweet corn (drained and rinsed)(1 can = 15 oz)
- ½ bell pepper, red (we recommend red)
- 1 chili pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp curry powder
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
- 2 shallots (or spring onions)
- Heat milk and vegetable broth together in a separate pot on a low heat; make sure it doesn’t boil otherwise the fat will separate itself from the milk.
- Dice up the onion, get a pot and let it simmer in the butter. Then add flour. Stir well.
- Dice up the bell pepper and add it to the pot. Throw in the corn too.
- Cut the chili pepper into small pieces and off into the pot with it.
- Now add the milk and broth mix to the pot. Stir in the cumin and curry powder too.
- Stir everything well and let it simmer for about 5 minutes on a low heat.
- Finally throw in the cheddar and let it melt.
- Cut up the shallots and add them for garnish.
- That’s it, enjoy your corn chowder!