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Summer Corn and Green Chile Chowder

summer corn and zucchini chowder with green chiles

If you're anything like me, you might just have one foot in summer and the other ready to step into fall. So this week I made a recipe that combines the best of both worlds. I have to admit, I completed winged it on this one, but you know what? IT WORKED. Imagine the love child of corn chowder and a vegetarian green chili. It turns out that baby -er, soup - is pretty delicious.

summer corn and zucchini chowder with green chiles

This easy chowder, ready in 30 minutes or less, celebrates the bright flavors of summer sweet corn, crisp zucchini, and spicy green chiles in a warm, comforting soup. A lot of recipes for corn chowder call for carrots and celery, but most gardens are exploding with zucchini right about now and it seemed like a better complement to the corn. And if you know me, you know I LOVE spicy food, so I couldn't resist throwing in some fire-roasted green chiles for some heat.

Green chiles are available fresh August-September at local markets and roadside stands, and Colorado has a bit of an obsession. In fact, we have a longstanding rivalry with New Mexico for who grows the best variety. Growing up in Missouri, green chiles weren't really a thing, but here, you can find Green Chili on just about any restaurant menu. 

Anyways, the peppers add killer flavor to this soup, which is tamed a bit by a splash of half and half. (Vegans could easily leave it out or use a plant based milk.) Add a dash of cilantro, lime, and smoky paprika on top, drizzle with olive oil, and voila! You've got yourself a taste of summer and a huge serving of healthy veggies. 

Serve alongside a big salad or grilled chicken or shrimp for a quick, satisfying seasonal meal. See notes for slow cooker variation. Share your pics on Facebook and Instagram and tag @healthyharvests with the hashtag #eatrealfood 

Looking for more summer farm-to-table recipes? Be sure to check out this Heirloom Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions or my Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabbouleh


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 ears (approx 3 cups ) of sweet corn, cut off the cob (canned or frozen would work fine)
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced 
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 5 roasted green chiles, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • splash, half and half
  • salt, to taste
  • Garnish: cilantro, lime, and paprika, olive oil
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they soften. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring so the veggies don’t stick to the pot.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and let simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are half way cooked. Add the zucchini, corn kernels, and green chiles and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. 
  3. Transfer approximately half the mixture into a food processor and blend until silky smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the pot, add the half and half and let come to a gentle simmer. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, smoked paprika, a squeeze of lime juice, and cheddar cheese if desired.

Notes: 1. How much you blend is totally up to you. I like a smooth creamy base with lots of chunky vegetables. 2. To make in the slow cooker, add all the ingredients except the half and half. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours. Blend half the mixture in the food processor. Add back to slow cooker, then add the half and half and follow remaining instructions. 3. Vegan option: use olive oil in place of butter, use veggie stock in place of chicken, and skip half and half or use a dairy free alternative

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