Chowder for the calorie-conscious
Chowders are hearty, chunky soups.
Typically chowders are made with seafood. Clam chowder, usually thickened with milk, dates back to Colonial times.
But The Kansas City Star’s Roasted Poblano and Corn Chowder is a simple, healthy soup made with stock, cutting the calories for a typical recipe in half. The chowder is bulked up with roasted corn, potatoes and poblano peppers, a fresh green chili in which the heat and intensity can vary from mild to zippy.
Preparation tips: This soup can also be made with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version, but the color will be darker than if you use chicken.
To peel or not peel the potatoes? It is a matter of flavor preference; either works well.
If you desire more pop, increase the cumin and chili powder to 1 teaspoon.
Roasted Poblano and Corn Chowder
Makes: 5 to 6 servings (total yield about 8 cups)
Nonstick cooking spray
2 medium poblano chili peppers, halved
1/2 medium red bell pepper
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 (32-ounce) carton unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
1 (12.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat broiler. Line 2 sheet pans with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Stem and seed peppers. Cut poblano and red bell peppers into quarters and slash if necessary so they lie flat. Place peppers skin side up on one sheet pan. Spray the peppers with nonstick cooking spray. Broil until the skins are dark brown and charred. Remove from broiler and cover the peppers loosely with a cloth towel. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Turn oven to bake and preheat to 425 degrees. Spread the corn in a single layer on the other sheet pan. Bake, uncovered, about 18 to 20 minutes or until the corn is beginning to brown, stirring midway through the baking time.
Meanwhile, combine stock, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven. Heat over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes.
Use the tip of a knife to remove the skin from the peppers. Discard skin and chop peppers. Stir peppers and corn into the soup. Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Per serving, based on 5: 152 calories (12 percent from fat), 3 g total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 31 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 46 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber.