This recipe is adapted from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap cookbook. Leanne suggests a method using fresh corn and making broth from the cobs, but we’ve used her alternate method here, which substitutes vegetable or chicken broth and canned or frozen corn.
- Melt the butter in a large pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and potato and stir. Cover the pot and let everything cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the garlic and the chile pepper, if using. Stir the vegetables, adding a splash of water or broth to free any that get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and soft, 5 minutes more. The potatoes should not yet be fully cooked.
- Add the corn and cornmeal to the pot and stir. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer until the broth thickens and becomes opaque, about 30 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.