Recipe: Smokin’ Pumpkin and Corn Chowder

Halloween means pumpkins and pumpkins mean carving, but it also means good eating too. Please don’t overlook the fact that a pumpkin is a member of the squash family and provides great nutrition for you and your family. This weeks’ recipe is Smokin’ Pumpkin Corn Chowder.

After making it, we got thinking about chowder as well and had a little discussion about “what makes a chowder?” Rob and I both had different thoughts on the subject. I believe a chowder to be a “thick chunky soup” and Rob believes that a chowder means it has to have “potato’s and milk”. Neither of us came to a conclusion about it, so we’re now wondering if we should even call this a chowder or not. Regardless, this pumpkin recipe is great at Halloween or any other time of year, so when buying your pumpkin for carving, make sure to get an extra for eating.

halloween pumpkin recipe corn chowder

Smokin’ Pumpkin and Corn Chowder

2 cups onion, diced
2 cups green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 cups red or orange pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/3 cup jalapeno pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 Tbsp sesame oil
4 cups pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 cups cut corn (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup Chili sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In a large pot, saute the onion and all of the peppers in the sesame oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the pumpkin and garlic and saute for an additional 5 minutes stirring often. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender. In a food processor or blender, place 3/4 cups of the cut corn, add 1 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot, and process to form a chunky puree. Add the pureed mixture, the remaining corn, Chili Sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot, and simmer the soup an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Yield: 2 1/2 Quarts

What Makes A Chowder?

Just what is the definition of a chowder anyway? What makes a chowder a chowder?

Wikipedia hasn’t really settled on one way to describe it but rather has various meanings for it depending on location. In 1958 the Edwards County, Illinois County Commissioners proclaimed Edwards County, Illinois as “Chowder Capital of the World”, and Newport, Rhode Island’s Great Chowder Cook-Off, held each year since 1981, is the world’s largest and oldest chowder competition. Seafood chowder is a popular dish in Ireland which leads me to believe that it’s “maritime” in nature. Wikipedia says

The word “chowder” is a New England word that came from Newfoundland, where Breton fishermen — who would throw portions of the day’s catch and other available foods into a large pot

So it seems Canada, Ireland, New England and Illinois all lay some sort of claim to the term and the dishes.

What’s your perspective of Chowder? What does “chowder” mean to you?

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Pumpkin Corn Chowder Photo Credit:

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