All hyperbole aside, Green Chile Chowder is — without question — our all-time favorite soup. This is another recipe adapted from the El Paso Junior League cookbook “Seasoned with Sun.” The original recipe calls for several complicated steps, but Dan simplified it into a great weeknight soup that can be prepared in about 40 minutes. It’s also an excellent use of leftover chicken. If you like soup, you won’t be disappointed.
First, chop up a small or medium onion and add it to the broth.
We used two baking potatoes (e.g., russet potatoes). You can use more if you like a chowder with more potato taste. There is likely a reason why baking potatoes work best in this soup, but I don’t know what it is. (America’s Test Kitchen, FoodieLawyer is not. But we really, really like their cookbooks).
Dice the potato into bite-sized pieces and add to the chicken broth in the Dutch oven.
Jalapenos add a nice amount of heat to this chowder, as well as a fresh flavor that pairs well with the roasted flavor of the green chiles. Use the handle end of a spoon to easily remove the seeds and the white inner ribs of the jalapenos, which helps to ensure that the final dish isn’t TOO spicy.
After de-seeding the jalapenos, mince them and add to the Dutch oven.
We have frozen Hatch green chiles in our freezer to use throughout the year, and we thawed a bag a few days earlier for this soup. (But we have also used canned green chiles in this dish, which work just fine). To prepare these roasted chiles for the soup, peel/scrape off the blackened parts, remove the tops and any big bunches of seeds, then chop them up and add to the Dutch oven.
Finally, add a half teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of Seasoned Salt to the soup. Once the chicken broth mixture boils, reduce the head to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, the potatoes should be fork-tender. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove approximately half of the potato mixture to a medium-sized bowl. You’ll add these back to the chowder at the end.
Using a potato masher/ricer, smash up the remaining potato mixture in the Dutch oven. Mashing the potatoes will help to thicken the chowder, while retaining some of the potato mixture in a separate bowl will ensure that the final soup still has some chunks of yummy potatoes.
Adding dairy turns this soup into a chowder. (Above photo features Dan’s new liquid measuring cup. Apparently, he likes it because it makes him think back to chemistry class. He may be a bit of a science nerd, and definitely is a gadget nerd, but he’s OK with that. He is an IP lawyer, after all.)
Add 2 and a half cups of whole milk (or a cup of half and half and a cup and a half of milk).
After you add the dairy, stir the chowder and continue to heat until it returns to a simmer. Don’t allow the chowder to start to boil heavily, or the milk may curdle.
We like our chowder fairly thick, so we added some cornstarch. Just put some cornstarch in a small container, add cold water and stir well, then add the mixture to the chowder and stir for about a minute.
Cut the leftover chicken into bite-sized pieces. Use approximately a cup of chopped up chicken. If you don’t have leftover chicken, you can also grill a chicken breast or 2 while you are putting together the other ingredients, or you can omit the chicken altogether.
Add the chicken and the reserved bowl of potato chunks, stir gently, and cook for about 5-10 more minutes. Taste the chowder and add salt and freshly-ground black pepper as needed.
Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onion tops and more black pepper.
Green Chile Chowder
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 big baking potatoes (about 1 lb each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1-3 jalapenos, seeds and internal white rib removed, then minced
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted green chiles (or two 8oz cans green chiles)
- 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (or regular salt if you don’t have Seasoned Salt)
- 1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
- 2 and 1/2 cups whole milk (or 1 and 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup half and half)
- 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)
- sliced green onion tops (for garnish)
Add the chicken stock to a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. One at a time after they have been chopped/prepared, add the chopped onion, potatoes, jalapenos, green chiles, Seasoned Salt and cumin, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove approximately half of the potato, green chile and onion mixture to a medium bowl.
Raise heat to medium-high, and with a potato masher/ricer, mash the potatoes and chiles in the Dutch oven and stir to thicken the soup. Add the dairy to the thickened liquid. When the soup reaches a high simmer, dissolve the cornstarch in a few tablespoons of cold water, and stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup. Stir the soup for a few minutes until it has thickened. (Don’t allow the soup to come to a boil, or the milk may curdle.)
Add chicken and stir. Add the reserved potato-chile-onion mixture from the medium bowl and stir. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and green onion tops.