This Southwest Potato and Corn Chowder is full of all the goodness of classic corn and potato chowder and loaded with tons of southwestern flavor-- peppers, chiles, black beans, cumin, and chili powder!
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Place onions and garlic in oil and let cook until the onion starts to soften-- about 6 minutes.
Add in the cumin and chili powder and stir until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and diced potatoes to the pot, bring to a low boil, cover and cook until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork.-- about 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, stir the corn, beans, and green chilies into the broth and potatoes.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Once melted stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for a minute.
Gradually stir in the milk and continue to stir, making sure to clean the bottom of the pan with each stir so it doesn't burn. As it comes to a boil, the mixture will start to thicken.
Continue to stir and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Add the cheese sauce into the broth mixture and stir until well combined. Season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, adding more depending on the salt content of the broth you used. Stir in cilantro and serve topped with fresh pico de gallo.
Cut your potatoes into even pieces-- If your potatoes are cut into pieces that are about the same size they will cook evenly. This prevents some of the pieces to be mushy and others overdone.
Bloom your spices!In step #2 you'll add the spices to the hot pan and cook until fragrant. This step will allow the spices to release their flavor oils and create a more flavorful soup!
Season, season, season! The key to delicious corn and potato chowder is building layers of flavor. You're doing this by browning your onions, blooming your spices, and making a separate cheese sauce to stir in. Make sure to season each step with a little bit of salt and make sure to taste it at the end and season to taste before serving.