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Jalapeño Corn Chowder

Photograph by Alejandra Graf

When I was a young girl, I lived in Boston. I was about five or six years old when I had my first clam chowder. I still remember going inside the Quincy Market on a super-cold, snowy day. It was crowded and everybody was carrying their heavy jackets under their arms. Of course, as a small child, all the coats always landed right in my face. I couldn't see a thing as we made our way through the hall, but the smell of bread and chowder wafting through the air always carried me to the right spot. I vividly remember how difficult it was for us to eat it because the gave us very limp plastic spoons that bent every time we tried to take a bite. But we always kept going back!

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Over the years, I've learned to make different types of chowder soups for my family. This corn chowder is creamy like you'd expect, with a spicy bite at the end. Although most corn chowder recipes contain potatoes, this version uses navy beans (or cannellini beans) to give it a hearty but silky texture.

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RECIPE: Jalapeño Corn Chowder
Yields 8 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons neutral tasting oil, such as canola or avocado
  • 1/2 a medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño seeded, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, divided
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked navy beans or cannellini beans (if using canned beans, drain before using)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 ground white pepper
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth

For garnish:

  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), finely chopped
  • 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded, deveined and minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Place a pot with a lid over low to medium heat. Add two tablespoons of oil and the onion, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.

  2. Add the celery, garlic, jalapeño, carrots and salt. Let cook, but not brown, for 10 more minutes until all the vegetables are completely softened.

  3. Add the beans and one cup of corn kernels, the spices and four cups of water or vegetable broth. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Puree with a kitchen robot or a blender. If you use a blender, do it in batches. Be very careful, as the soup will be hot.

  5. Return the puree to the pot and add the remaining corn kernels and the pepper. Taste-test to check the seasoning and adjust if needed.

  6. For the topping: mix the cilantro, pumpkin seeds, jalapeño, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Serve in sourdough bread bowls with the topping mixture spooned over the chowder.

Photograph by Alejandra Graf

Love this? Follow us on Pinterest!

Photograph by Alejandra Graf

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