Calabacitas Chowder

Anaheim’s are very popular in Southwestern US Cuisine.Also called “New Mexican Chile”. These were developed by Dr. Fabian Garcia in New Mexico about 100 yrs ago who was seeking a chile pepper that was bigger, fleshier, and milder.

They got the name “Anaheim” when a farmer named Emilio Ortega brought these seeds to the Anaheim area in the early 1900′s. This chile can be roasted and peeled and used in recipes or stuffed to make chile rellenos just as the Poblano Chile.

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2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium summer squash (I prefer yellow squash), coarsely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp. cumin-coriander spice mix
2 cups water and more as needed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 young leeks or 1 medium leek (about 1 cup chopped), whites chopped
2 ears sweet corn, shucked and cleaned
¼ to ½ cup roasted, green chile, finely chopped
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup half and half or dairy substitute
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Toppings (Choose one or two):
Chopped scallions
Chopped cilantro or parsley
Crispy bacon, crumbled
Chopped Avocado
Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese


Serves 3 to 4

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the squash and saute’ for about 5 minutes. If squash starts to brown on the edges, reduce heat.

After 5 minutes, add the garlic, reduced heat to medium low and saute’ another 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the spice mix. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the squash is translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl (for immersion blender) or to a blender. Blend the squash to a puree’. It should be pretty thick.

While the squash is cooking, chopped the leeks and set aside. Prepare the corn by cutting the kernels off the cobs, then using the back of a knife or a flat edged spoon, scape the cob to extract as much corn and corn milk as possible. Set aside.

Dice the roasted green chile. Set aside. Once the squash is done and has been transferred into another dish, add 1 Tbsp. oil to the soup pot. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and saute’ over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the corn and saute’ 2 minutes. Add the pureed squash to the leeks and corn. Add another ½ cup liquid. Soup should still be rather thick. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the corn is cooked.

Remove from the heat and add the green chile, half and half, and fresh herbs. Stir to combine. If chowder is still too thick, add more liquid ¼ cup at a time, until a desired thickness. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.

To serve, ladle into bowls and top with toppings of choice. Serve with tortilla chips, or warm flour or corn tortillas.