Soups & Salads/

Emerald Corn Chowder with Roasted Tomatillos and Poblano

Recipe from Salsas That Cook

The roasty flavors of this zesty soup are wonderfully enriched with the sweet corniness of masa the dough that’s used for making corn tortillas. Whether you use the easily accessible dehydrated masa harinaor the fresh dough available from tortilla factories, you’ll love the complex flavors.

(No masa at all? Thicken the soup with a little cornstarch dissolved in water.)

Dress up your soup with grilled shrimp or scallops to start a very special meal—even drizzle on a little Mexican crema or crème fraiche right before serving. It’s based on a classic soup from Central and Eastern Mexico that’s called chileatole.
Servings: 4to 6, about 6 cups


  • 1small white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1large freshpoblano chile, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 2cups corn kernels, either freshly cut off the cobs or frozen, depending on the season
  • 2cupsFrontera Roasted tomatillo Salsa
  • 2 1/2cups chicken broth
  • 2tablespoonsfreshly ground corn masa for tortillas or masa harina (corn flour)
  • Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/2cup chopped fresh cilantro


In a large saucepan or soup pot, cook the onion and poblano in the oil for 5 or 6 minutes until both are tender. Scrape into a blender or food processor and add half of the corn and all of the salsa. Process to a smooth puree and press through a medium-mesh strainer back into the pan or pot.

Stir in the broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low, stirring often, for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the fresh masa or masa harina with 1/4 cup water, making sure there are no lumps. Strain the mixture (you can use the same strainer) directly into the simmering pot, stirring all the while. Continue to stir until the soup thickens, then taste and season with salt. Add the remaining corn kernels, let return to a simmer, then ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro before carrying to the table.



  1. It would be great if you offered a version of this recipe that used fresh tomatillos instead of jarred salsa.

    1. Hi Spencer, I’m with you. However, I have made this chowder before and just used a roasted tomatillo salsa that I made from one of his cookbooks that I have. It turned out awesome!

      1. I’ve made that salsa! It’s my go to recipe. If you mix the salsa (it makes about 12 oz) with 8 ounces of chicken broth and then fry the mixture in 2 T of corn oil until it sputters, it makes a fantastic green enchilada sauce. Stir in 1 1/2 T of sour cream to finish the sauce.

  2. Agreed, there are many of us who don’t have access to your specific product and so an easy substitute would be a good idea.
    I’d probably return the cookbook if I could, nice Job Rick.

    1. This recipe is from a book called, Salsas that Cook. It was our goal to give easy recipes using our jarred salsas. So unfortunately everything from this book will use jarred products. However Rick has 8 other books that use fresh ingredients including his most recent, More Mexican Everyday that is being released this week!

      Hope you find this helpful!

  3. This was pretty good! I wasn’t optimistic when I tasted the mixture straight out of the blender, but it all came together quite nicely at the end. A flavorful, spicy soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I love how easy this was to make and happy to use a shortcut with the jarred salsa. Very little prep work, so during the final simmer i cleaned up and relaxed into an easy dinner. I added cooked chicken i happened to have on hand for a one pot supper. Thanks for the recipe!

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