Smoky Chipotle Corn Chowder

Pair a bowl of chipotlle chili spiked chowder with a thick slab of corn bread for a simple and satisfying meal.

Makes 4 servings.

1 tablespoon butter
3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
2 cups red bliss potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) (or canned or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2 cups milk (whole or low-fat)
1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup diced cooked ham (about 3 ounces)

In a deep pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Saute green onions for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add corn kernels, salt, and chipotle chilis, and stir well. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the milk, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro. Turn off heat and allow chowder to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Puree soup in two batches until smooth, and return to the pot over medium-low heat. Stir in cooked ham and warm until thoroughly heated. Taste it; adjust seasonings accordingly. Garnish each serving with some finely chopped cilantro and green onions.

Note: This soup tastes even better the next day. So it's a good meal to make over the weekend for a quick and easy mid-week dinner.