Southwestern Corn Chowder

When we were in Sante Fe, New Mexico, we had a very tasty grilled corn and chipotle soup. We asked the restaurant for the recipe and they were nice enough to print it out and give it to us. Since corn is in season right now, we decided to recreate this recipe, but we changed it up to suit our tastes. We really liked the way that our version turned out, it had just the right amount of spice. One of the nice things about a recipe like this is that you can control the amount of heat that you add so that it can be more or less spicy depending upon your taste. Also, the combination of the fresh corn and frozen corn makes for a mix of crunchy and soft that makes the texture of the soup very pleasurable. We served ours with a nice toasted baguette bread, but a fried tortilla like the restaurant used would also be good. We also garnished ours with a couple of slices of jalapeno that had been deseeded, but clearly it isn’t necessary. This recipe serves two, but it could easily be adjusted to serve more. We hope that you enjoy it!

Cooking the Corn and Red Onion


  • 5 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 8 oz of Frozen Corn
  • 1/3 can of Chipotle Peppers with Sauce – finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion – chopped
  • 3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • Salt to Taste – generous amount
  • Black Pepper to Taste
Stirring in the Chipotle Peppers
Grilled Corn and Chipotle Soup


Remove the corn kernels from the husks of fresh corn and sauté them in a cast-iron skillet heated over medium-high heat with the oil and butter. If you prefer, you could grill the corn whole on a grill and then remove the kernels, but we chose to cook them in the skillet. Salt and pepper the corn and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, and then add the red onion to the corn. Cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. In a medium sauce pan, add the cream, corn and onions, frozen corn, white pepper, cumin, garlic, and salt. Add about a third of the chipotle peppers with sauce and start heating the soup over medium heat. You want to just bring the soup to a slight simmer and avoid bringing to a full boil. Taste the soup and continue to slowly add chipotle peppers with sauce until it is as spicy as you would like.

Corn in the Cast-Iron Skillet
Building the Soup
Our Finished Soup


Summertime Road Trips

We don’t have time for any extended trips at the moment, so we have been taking shorter, weekend trips for the time being. It is a great time of year to hop in a car and find places near you that you have never visited before or perhaps haven’t gone to in a long time. Since travel is often more expensive during the summer months when many families are taking vacations, driving to local destinations is also a nice way to keep costs down. The downside, of course, is often spending hours upon hours stuck in the seat of a vehicle.

Colorful Scenery
Different Geology
On the Road Again

We never used to take photos from the car when would travel to places, but now we often do, just like we now take photos from the window of a plane when flying to a different country. Taking photos through the windows of a moving vehicle doesn’t always produce the greatest results, but capturing the changing scenery is actually a nice reminder of how beautiful some of the places are that you travel through on your way to your final destination.

Plateaus in the Distance
Winding Through the Mountains
Storm on the Horizon

Another drawback to traveling during the summer can sometimes be the weather. First of all, it can be quite hot, which likely means that the windows are rolled up and the air conditioning is on instead of enjoying the fresh scents of nature. Another issue can be rain or, even worse, hail. Driving through torrential rain storms with water standing on the highway can be as much of a white-knuckle drive as driving through a snow storm in the winter. We certainly ran into a little bit of everything during our drive from Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico, this past weekend.

Very Menacing Clouds
Heading Towards the Storm
Nowhere to Hide


Southwestern Flavors in Santa Fe

New Mexico is known for its chili peppers and the southwestern food that is made with them. We were only in Santa Fe for a couple of days, but that didn’t keep us from trying as many different options as we could. As a town, Santa Fe has a growing reputation for having a food scene with creative chefs and restaurants with interesting menus. We focused our attention on the historic downtown area, but there are excellent restaurants throughout Santa Fe.

San Francisco Street Bar and Grill
Grilled Corn and Chipotle Soup
Mexican Style Lager

Southwestern food is generally Mexican inspired food with an American flair. We had burritos filled with pork marinated in red chilis as well as Huevos Rancheros. We also had tempura battered green chilis as well as a delicious grilled corn and chipotle soup. Obviously there is more to the food in Santa Fe than just southwestern, it is just that they are known for that style of food. We also had a wonderful prime rib dinner at the Ranch House, although we were so hungry that we didn’t end up taking any photos of the dish. We stopped at a place called Harry’s Roadhouse on our way out of town, which featured traditional diner food that was so popular that cars had to park on the road as the parking lot was full.

Huevos Rancheros
Fried Green Chilis
Pork Burritos with Spicy Green Chili Sauce

Needless to say, we needed to have something cold to drink while we ate, especially with the hot summer temperatures. New Mexico has a variety of local breweries and brew pubs and we enjoyed a few different beers at the Blue Corn Brewery as well as the Second Street Brewery, which is in the Railyard Arts District. Perhaps as popular as beer are the margaritas, so we made sure to stop into the San Francisco Street Bar and Grill for a couple of their happy hour margaritas. They were a perfect mid-afternoon treat and weren’t too sour, which can sometimes be the case.

Brown Ale
Before the Bar Got Full

Clearly we didn’t have enough time to sample everything that Santa Fe has to offer, but we definitely enjoyed the meals that we did have. Anyone visiting Santa Fe will be pleased with all of the offerings. As always, be sure to ask your hotel staff and cab drivers for recommendations, you will often find that pleasant surprise. We ended up at Harry’s Roadhouse based upon a recommendation and we certainly weren’t disappointed. We look forward to recreating some of these wonderful dishes in the very near future.

Oatmeal with Apples, Walnuts, and Brown Sugar
Diner Breakfast
Just Part of Harry’s Roadhouse