Calabacitas Chowder (Summer Squash, Corn, and Green Chile)

Chowder made with New Mexico green chile, squash and sweet corn

 

It’s hard to believe that it was two years ago when I first talked about calabacitas and introduced you to my Calabacitas Enchiladas.  As much as I make calabacitas in one form or another, I’m surprised I don’t have this website full of squash, corn and green chile recipes.  Well, let’s fix that shall we.  The other day on my weekly visit to the Nob Hill Growers’ Market I picked up some beautiful young leeks, a few yellow squash and some sweet corn (the first I’ve seen this season).  All I needed now was some green chile; however, July is still a little early for fresh green chile, but I did have some in the freezer.  Therefore, because the cooler weather and rain (finally!), it just felt right to turn such a beautiful bounty into a fresh Calabacitas Chowder.


For this chowder, the squash is used as the base by cooking it the way my mother use to cook it, until it is pretty much mush. Once cooked, the squash is pureed with a little water.  The leeks are sauteed in olive oil and added to the pureed squash along with corn and green chile.  A little milk (or milk substitute) and some herbs and spices are added for a delicious sweet and spicy chowder.  Top with crumbled bacon or chopped avocado, and serve a few tortilla chips on the side.

New Mexico Sweet white corn

 White Sweet Corn from Wagner Farms, Corrales, NM

 

A chowder made with New Mexico green chile, corn and yellow squash

 

Kitchen Notes

Calabacitas – Calabacitas is a traditional New Mexico early fall dish of summer squashes, corn, and green chile. Some versions add tomatoes and others add cheese.

The Squash – Any summer squash or combination of summer squash can be used.  I prefer yellow squash or one yellow squash and one zucchini.  When cooking the squash, be sure to cook it until it is translucent and soft, and blend it long enough for a nice puree’.  It makes a great base for this soup because it is extremely flavorful and yields a wonderful texture.  If you don’t like squash, I can guarantee that you’ll still love this dish.  It’s not the least bit “squashy”.

The Corn -Use  fresh corn (cut right off the cob), frozen or canned, whatever you have on hand. Fresh white sweet corn is absolutely delicious!

The Green Chile – There is no substitute for New Mexico’s roasted, chopped green chile; however, if you can’t stand the heat or you don’t have green chile, then just roast up a couple of poblanos, or red or green bell pepper.  You won’t get the heat with the bell pepper, but the flavor will still be quite good.

The Leeks – Normally I use onion, but since I had these beautiful leeks, I used them and the result was fabulous.  So leeks, onions, shallots, scallions or a combination thereof – any of it works.

The Cream – Half and half or a milk substitute like almond or soy milk are best.  Anything thicker, like cream or evaporated milk yields too heavy of a chowder.

The Toppings – You really don’t need much. I usually go for color and texture like some chopped parsley, bacon, and / or chopped avocado. A drizzle of chile infused oil works quite well.

Tortilla chips on the side makes a great complement and like most chowders, can be crumbled on top like crackers.

This green chile link will take you to more recipes with green chile.

This squash link will take you to more recipes with squash.

 

Other Calabacitas dishes:

Calabacitas

Calabacitas Enchiladas

This Calabacitas Chowder has been share with Made With Love Mondays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Fat Tuesday, My Meatless Mondays  .

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72 Responses to “Calabacitas Chowder (Summer Squash, Corn, and Green Chile)”

  1. Charles July 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    That sounds so good MJ – all those wonderful fresh ingredients! I’ve never tried “white” sweetcorn… is it very different to the regular yellow stuff? (although even that is kinda pale creamy before it’s cooked).

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Thanks Charles! White sweet corn is pretty much the same as yellow sweet corn. I think yellow corn has a tougher skin, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same. Even after cooked, it keeps the creamy color.

  2. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen July 24, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    It’s the rainy season here and I’m always in the mood for some chowder! This looks gorgeous!

  3. Hotly Spiced July 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    This looks like a great chowder and so perfect for our time of year. This must have wonderful flavour with all the spices it has in it xx

  4. Gomo | cHowDivine July 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    This is my kind of soup! I love a hearty, thick, chunky soup. So does my husband. He always mentions (complains) how much he loves “substantial” soups whenever we have watery or thin soups. He would seriously go crazy over this. Beautiful soup MJ!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks Gomo! Bobby and I also love substantial soups as you can see from this chowder. :)

  5. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies July 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    I love that gorgeous yellow squash! I always buy it when I see it at the farmers market. :) This chowder would be a perfect lunch!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks Kiersten! I’m with you. I love yellow squash! I’ll be buying more at the market tomorrow.

  6. Javelin Warrior July 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Such a wonderful chowder, MJ! I love the combination of flavors and ingredients – and I love the use of the summer squash. So tasty!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Thanks so much Mark! The summer squash made a great base for this soup!

  7. David Scott July 23, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Did you know that you can get real New Mexico Green Chile dried and powdered? You haven’t lived until you have tried the real stuff! I get mine from the Chimayo Chile Brothers. Here is a link to their site: http://www.chimayochilebros.com/shop

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks for the link David. Did you see my Green Chile Powder post? One of my links was to the Chimayo Chile Brothers where I purchased some. It’s quite tasty.

  8. Katerina July 23, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Chowders are the best and corn adds so much sweetness to it! Perfectly made and even though it is summer here you tempted me to want to try this!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks Katerina! The corn I used was some of the sweetest I’ve had in quite a while.

  9. Gourmantine July 23, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    The recipe sounds so good, I’m definitely marking it, for when hot meals will be back on the menu, as in this heat it’s only ice cream for now :)

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      Thanks Gourmatine! Yep – we’re back to the ice cream as well. The rain and cool weather have moved away from us. :(

  10. Treat and Trick July 23, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Gorgeous photos and thanks for introducing a new dish to us! This combo sounds appetizing and interesting…

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks so much! The combo is amazing!

  11. Asmita July 23, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Looks delicious! I love corn chowder and this might be my new favorite!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks Asmita! It sure is our favorite! :)

  12. Carolyn Jung July 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    I bet this is so satisfying, what with the sweetness from the corn and the kick from the chiles. Perfect bowl to dig into in the summer time.

  13. Swathi July 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Delicious chowder love the addition of spicy green chilie.

  14. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    This sounds like my kind of chowder. I don’t care how hot it is outside…I love making corn chowder during the summer when fresh corn is so good.

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks Karen! The sweet corn I used really did make this chowder!

  15. Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania July 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    This is a wonderful vegetarian soup. I’d love to include this to my list of “to-do-s”. I have never had squash in soup. So this is worth a try for sure!

    • mj July 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks Purabi Naha! I’ve never used squash in soup before, but in this chowder is make a great thick base.

  16. Sissi July 22, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    One more southern – and definitely exotic for me – delight! I have never had it but it looks so homely and comforting… I would love it with some fresh chopped chili and avocado on top and with bacon too!
    Even the corn looks exotic and unusual: here I have seen only yellow corn. Does the white corn taste different? What you call squash is called here “yellow courgette (zucchini)” both in Switzerland and France (and Poland too if I remember). I thought that squash was not that close to courgette, but have just read that they are very close varieties sometimes called by the same name when small. A very interesting discovery!

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Well, we’re just teach each other all sorts of things! :) I have never heard of a courgette, but I just looked it up and that is exactly what this is! YES, a very interesting discovery! Thanks! As far as the white corn tasting different, not really. I think the main difference is more in the texture than the taste. The kernels of white corn are less “tough” than yellow corn so they cook up in a chowder very nicely. Last night, Bobby grilled some yellow sweet corn and some white sweet corn and that was pretty much the only difference that we could tell. Both were sweet and delicious! An yes – bacon on top of this chowder is awesome! :)

  17. Nisa Homey July 22, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Wow! this really sounds good…love your pics too :)

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks you so much Nisa!

  18. Angie@Angie's Recipes July 22, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    A fantastic summer squash chowder! I bet this would taste great served cold.

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Thanks Angie! Actually I tried it cold and didn’t like it as much. With the half and half it was a little too thick and solidified. I’m not sure if that would be the right word, but I wasn’t too crazy about the texture. It doesn’t have to be really hot, room temperature was great.

  19. Giulietta | Alterkitchen July 22, 2013 at 3:50 am #

    This chowder looks amazing… and I was amazed looking at those yellow zucchini O__O
    What are they?

  20. Sanjeeta kk July 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    How beautifully you explain those Kitchen Notes, MJ! Just love the way you pour your heart in every recipe that you present here. Coming back to the recipe, being a corn lover myself..this one is on my must-make-list. Hugs.

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:10 am #

      Thank you so much Sanjeeta for your nice comments! I hope you get a chance to make this. I think you and your family would love it.

  21. Ramona July 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Chili, leeks, squash… what’s not to love about this chowder. I would need a big spoon to enjoy this one…with a big smile on my face. :)

  22. sally July 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    I loved those Calabacitas Enchiladas, so I’m sure I would love this chowder! Yum!

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      I remember how much you liked the enchiladas. In fact, I thought of you as I wasn’t making this chowder. I think you’ll love it. :) Thanks Sally and hope things are going well.

  23. Jen @JuanitasCocina July 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Gorgeous! And I can’t wait for the new crop of chile!

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:08 am #

      “Can’t wait for the new crop of chile!” – You and me both! :) Thanks!

  24. Lori Lynn July 21, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Hi MJ – I adore this chowder! I have yellow squash and green chiles in the freezer too. Might just this this a whirl on this easy Sunday afternoon.
    LL

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Thanks Lori Lynn! I do hope you get a chance to make this. Let me know and hope you had a great Sunday!

  25. john@kitchenriffs July 21, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Wow, this looks so good! Corn and chiles really combine so well, and they also work well with squash. This is so nice – flavorful and simple. Thanks.

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Thanks John! Yes – it is hard to beat corn and green chile!

  26. Minnie@thelady8home July 21, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I love yellow squash, and the spice blend is just right that it makes me want to lick it off the bowl. Mnnnn!

  27. Judy @Savoring Today July 21, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Great sounding recipe, MJ, pinning it right now to save for later (hard to get my hubby to eat soup in the summer). Also, I like the photos, exchanging the focus and background, well done. :)

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:05 am #

      Thanks Judy! Bobby doesn’t usually like hot soups in the summer either, but I made this on an unusually cool day, so it worked out. Thanks for the comments on the photos!

  28. Debra July 21, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    You know we are all over this! Anything with green chiles (and summer corn and fresh squash) is a keeper. Having to pin this. Did I tell you that I planted cushaw this year in the garden because of you? I have three plants going. Have a great weekend!

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      I totally agree Debra! Green chiles with anything is a keeper! That is so cool that you’ve planted cushaw. I’ll have to tell my sister since she’s the cushaw lady. :) Hope you get a nice bounty from your plants. Have a wonderful week.

  29. Vicki Bensinger July 21, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    This sounds like a very hearty soup and full of flavor. I’ve never tried this veggie before or not that I recall. I will have to see if I can find it at our farmers market.

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:02 am #

      Thanks Vicki! Calabacitas is actually a combination of vegetables – summer squash, corn, and green chile. All are probably available at your market, except maybe the chile.

  30. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 21, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Wow this sounds so good. I doubt I could eat it as hot as you enjoy it but I’d still love it. I can’t even take a hot shower so my lips would melt off if I ate your bowl of chowder. :)

    • mj July 22, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      Thanks Maureen! I certainly want your lips to melt off so I would suggest a mild to medium chile. :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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