Salsa Chowder

Post image for Salsa Chowder

By Nancy Buchanan



by Nancy Buchanan on February 27, 2012

If anyone knows where last week went, could you email me? Because I honestly I have no clue – none whatsoever.

Although last week was MIA, the meals were not. But they definitely were on the simpler side – mostly roasted or grilled meat or fish, an easy vegetable and rice/grain/pasta. In short, nothing worth sharing here at the Table.

But then  there was this soup.

I was so happy with it that I thought it deserved a spot.  Like my Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Semifreddo, this soup resulted from my bi weekly refrigerator clean out which yielded a couple of potatoes and 1/2 container of fresh salsa. I’d been in the mood for soup and looking at the odds and ends from the fridge I definitely had the makings for a good pot.

Soup is one of my “go to” dishes when I need a relatively quick meal -especially on nights when I haven’t planned in advance!!!  With a few basics in the pantry and freezer/fridge it’s not hard to come up with something good and it’s a great way to use up those  vegetable odds and ends which I always seem to have in my house. I know that may seem weird -  when you think of soup, you generally think of a pot slowly simmering on the stove. While there are lots of soups that  do require a longer prep/simmer time, many soups (like this one) don’t and in fact, wouldn’t taste nearly as good if they were simmered too long so they are perfect for quick meals.

Although I’ve included the recipe, it really is more of a guide and as I made the soup, I thought of all kinds of things I could have added or substituted so there is a lot of room for improvisation and adaptation.

So do you have any favorite “refrigerator soups”? If so, I’d love to hear about them!!

Salsa Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

30 minutes

Yield: 4 -6 servings

To increase the protein in this soup, you could easily add a can of rinsed and drained black beans or some roasted, shredded chicken. I used a relatively mild salsa but you could also use a hotter salsa if you like a spicier soup. I found this soup hearty enough that it only needed a salad. I served one with chopped romaine, slivered red onion and orange sections with a citrus dressing and it went really well with the soup, and of course fresh corn tortillas are always good with it too!


  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chile powder
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 - 4 small potatoes - scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup half and half or 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (for garnish)


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the 2 Tbsp. of canola oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions become soft and translucent - about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and chile powder and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes. Add the corn and cook for another 5 minutes, until the corn is slightly caramelized. Add the potatoes, salsa, green chiles, white wine and chicken/vegetable stock and white wine worcestershire. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes (covered) or until potatoes are soft but still firm to bite. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
 Salsa Chowder


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy February 28, 2012 at 5:56 am

Sometimes cleaning out the fridge makes the best meals. This looks and sounds really tasty!


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme February 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

Perfect way to use those odds and ends that accumulate over the week in the fridge, Nancy! And what a lovely combination of flavors – the salsa, corn, chiles and cilantro are all particular favorites here. I’ll certainly have this recipe in mind on my next clean-out-the-fridge day.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 1, 2012 at 12:49 am

Gorgeous chowder!

And it was fabulous seeing you today! Love bumping into long lost friends :)


Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] March 1, 2012 at 9:25 am

Salsa chowder is new to me. I am very intrigued! I specially love that there is cumin and hot sauce in the recipe. Mmm!


Marla March 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

Nancy, I am so excited about the idea of this soup as salsa is one of my all time favorite foods. Not sure where the time is going over here either ;)


Brooke @ Food Woolf March 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

Wow. What a vivid photo and incredible recipe! I love chowdah! (I’m from MA).


Deliciously Organic March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

This soup looks absolutely delicious! Beautiful photos!


the urban baker March 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

What a hearty looking soup! I, too, love soup and usually make some sort of soup once a week. Especially love it the next day for lunch!


Kristina Vanni March 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

This chowder looks great. Such a great array of ingredients and flavors! Can’t wait to give this a try!


Amanda March 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm

This looks amazing. :)


Nicole March 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

This is the best soup I’ve made this year – absolutely delicious! Thank you!


Nancy March 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi Nicole!
I am so glad that you enjoyed it!!!


Lisa March 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

This is such a great idea, Nancy! It looks so hearty and filling. I alreday eat good salsa’s with a spoon, so this is sort of like the new icing on the cake I need to try :)


Leah March 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

When are you supposed to add the cream?


Nancy March 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Leah!!

Oops!!! Sorry about that! I add the cream about 5 minutes before I am ready to serve the soup – just long enough to let the soup heat back up!


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