Butternut Squash Corn Chowder with Goat Cheese Croutons

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Serves: 6-8 servings


4 ounces chilled soft fresh goat cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

4 thick bacon slices, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used water and 4 1/2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base)
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles (rehydrate in hot water and deseed before using)
2 cups sweet corn (fresh off the cob would be amazing, I used frozen)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh sage


Cut the goat cheese into 1/2 inch rounds, and then cut each round into four quarters. You should end up with about 20 pieces.
Coat each piece in cornmeal. Shape into a cube, and then dip into the beaten egg, and again into the cornmeal. Freeze at least one hour.

Just before you are ready to serve the chowder, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the frozen croutons to the oil, and cook about 1 minute per side, turning as you go with a tongs or a fork.

In a large heavy bottomed pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, and then remove from the pan and add onions to bacon drippings.

Cook the onions just until they are tender, and then add the butternut squash, broth, and chilies. Bring to a simmer, and cook about 30 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender and falls apart when pressed to the side of the pot with a spoon.

At this point, I used an immersion blender to puree the chowder, leaving some pieces intact. You could also ladle 3 cups of the chowder to a blender to puree and then add it back to the soup.
Add the corn and sage, and then taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed. I added 1 teaspoon of salt and several turns of freshly cracked pepper. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken broth, you may need to add more or less.

Ladle the chowder into bowls, and then top with bacon and goat cheese croutons.

Slightly adapted from a recipe from lovelylittlekitchen.com