A hearty – but not heavy – corn chowder is sparked by a bit of hot sauce and pepper for a satisfying soup. Serve with blue cheese-buttered English muffins.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 7 tablespoons butter, including 4 tablespoons softened butter, divided
- 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (3/4 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2-3 small ribs celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 chili pepper, such as Fresno or jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 6 ears corn, kernels scraped from cobs, or 4-5 cups frozen kernels
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup lager beer
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 1/4 cup Sriracha or hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, or more to taste
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 4 sourdough English muffins
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced on an angle
Heat the oil in a soup pot  over medium-high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter into the oil; when it foams, stir in the potatoes, bell pepper, celery, carrots, onion, chili pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper and thyme. Partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes to soften the ingredients. Add the corn and heat through. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute; add the beer and stir for 1 more minute before adding the stock and the Sriracha (or hot sauce). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Adjust the seasonings, to taste. If the chowder gets too thick, thin it with some water.
In a small bowl , stir together the softened butter with the blue cheese crumbles. Turn on the broiler; toast the English muffins on both sides, then slather with the blue cheese butter.
Ladle the chowder into shallow bowls , top with scallions and serve with blue cheese-buttered English muffins alongside.