Soups Tex-Mex

Green chile chowder

Green chile chowder DSC0226

“We know people will buy the book for this recipe alone,” was noted on an entry for a green-chile chowder in Seasoned with Sun, the El Paso Junior League’s cookbook. Despite such high praise, this green chowder recipe—Maxon’s green chile chowder, to be exact—was not the reason why I had bought the book. Nope, I had purchased this cookbook to satisfy a burgeoning obsession with Junior League cookbooks, which began when I was home at Christmas.

My mom had put me on kitchen duty, but in between chopping onions and rolling out biscuits, I sat at her table and thumbed through her out-of-print copy of The Star of Texas Cookbook, put out by the Houston Junior League in the early 1980’s. After I finished that book, I moved on to her copy of a Colorado Junior League cookbook and one from Savannah as well. “I’ve never seen you read so much,” said Mom. And while that was probably her polite way of insisting I finish making dinner, I wasn’t deterred in my community-cookbook enthusiasm.

Green chile chowder | Homesick Texan

When I returned to New York, a trip to a Bonnie Slotnick’s magical used bookstore in the Village rewarded me with a copy of Fiesta, produced by the Junior League of Corpus Christi. Flavors, the Junior League cookbook of San Antonio came next. I was running out of money, so I had to temporarily pass on cookbooks from Dallas, Wichita Falls and Abilene, but a friend told me about Seasoned with Sun, the Junior League cookbook from El Paso, and so I ignored my impending poverty and groaning bookshelves and made the purchase.

Besides being fascinated with Junior League cookbooks, I’m also enthralled with El Paso. I admit that I don’t know that much about the town but I what I do know is fantastic. The food is outstanding, it has big sky and there are cowboy boot outlets. What more could you ask for?

I love community cookbooks because they tell the story of a place through recipes. Sure, most Junior League cookbooks are chock full of what my grandma calls ladies’ food. But you’ll also find local flavor and history as well. Seasoned With Sun did not disappoint as there were plenty of Tex-Mex favorites sprinkled amidst Junior League classics such as avocado cocktail, asparagus vinaigrette, chicken breasts piquant, and tuna puffs.

So what about this renowned green chile chowder? It seemed to straddle both the border and the Junior League with its tame potato base livened up with jalapenos and green chiles. The first time I made the soup, it was good, but I felt a recipe coming out of that part of the state deserved a bit more punch. The next time I made it I increased the numbers of chiles, threw in some cumin, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice, and lightened it up by omitting a butter and flour roux. And while my changes might upset the El Paso Junior League, I was pleased with the results.

Green chile chowder | Homesick Texan

March is a confusing month, as nasty winter insists on sticking around even though milder spring has announced its presence. I find, however, that this soup works well in both situations. Served warm with cheese melted on top, it staves off the cold. And served chilled with a squirt of lime and some tortilla chips, it’s light and refreshing.

While you’re enjoying this soup, perhaps you can help me. I’m looking to add to my collection—what are your favorite community or Junior League cookbooks?

Green chile chowder DSC0226
5 from 2 votes

Green chile chowder

Servings 8
Author Adapted by Lisa Fain from Seasons With Sun


  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Cook the poblanos and jalapenos under the broiler for about 5 minutes on each side or until thoroughly blackened. (The jalapenos will probably cook faster so remove them first) Place poblanos in a paper bag, close it and let them steam for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove stems from jalapenos and dice.

  2. After 15 minutes, take the poblanos out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove seeds and stem and then dice the chiles.

  3. In a large pot, heat on medium the butter until it’s melted. Add the onions and cook them for 10 minutes or just until they’re about to brown. Throw in the garlic and cook for another minute.

  4. Add to the pot the chiles, the potatoes, the chicken broth, the cilantro, the cumin, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

  5. Scoop out 2 cups of the soup and set aside. Puree the rest of the soup until smooth and then mix the smooth with the chunky. Add the milk and half and half to the soup and cook until warm. Squeeze in the lime juice and serve either warm or chilled, with cheese, tortilla chips and extra cilantro.

  1. My favorite JL Cookbook is "Stop and Smell the Rosemary". It has a killer Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, wonderful salads, etc. It has won many awards and was photographed by Houston's own Ralph Smith ( A definite 'must' for your collection!

  2. I used to live right above Bonnie's bookstore–such a great place to spend time browsing! In France there's not so much of a community cookbook tradition, more of a mother-daughter transmission, I guess.
    Your soup looks delicious!

  3. I'll be trying this recipe as soon as I get my kitchen back (currently being remodeled). I have to put in a plug for Flavors as well–glad you bought it. I live in San Antonio and it is everybody's favorite here! And though it's not a community cookbook, you might like W. Park Kerr and Norma Kerr's El Paso Chile Company's Texas Border Cookbook. It's outstanding!

  4. When I visited Charleston, the only thing I bought to bring home with me was the Charleston Junior League Cookbook. That, and 2 bags of White Lily Flour.

  5. From James:

    I have made several of your recipies but never commented before so let me start by saying: My wife and two boys love what I have made from your site!

    I enjoy reading your words and look forward to reading more!

    I have never heard of a "Junior League" cookbook before but will start keeping an eye out for them, I am always looking for something new to try and add to my choices to make for dinner

  6. Can you share what year your copy of Seaoned with Sun is? I have a few versions–wedding present and ones I bought when I lived in El Paso. I love hometown cookbooks and collect them. I look for them at yard sales since I can usually get them for a steal. My favorites are put together by churches =)

  7. I agree that Houston's JL "Stop and Smell the Rosemary" is chocked full of wonderful recipes. I inherited a copy from my mother in law and it is a favorite. Also, the most recent Houston JL book "Peace Meals" is great. I just got it for Christmas so I havn't made too many recipes from it, but all that I have tried have been great!

  8. racingyogagirl

    Favorite Junior League cookbook ever: from Junior League of New Orleans. It is amazing!

  9. Anonymous

    By far, over the years, River Road, from south Louisiana…wonderful recipes…Also, Traditions, from Little Rock AR is well-thumbed and used. I really don't know if they are JL, but they are community and really good. River Road has stayed in print for years (I think I've had my copy for 30), not sure about Traditions…Traditions has wonderful comments and stories from Richard Allin, a well known essayist on things southern who is now deceased.

  10. Mike Bierschenk

    When I was growing up in the Pineywoods, we had a copy of the McAllen Junior League's "La Piñata." As soon as I went off to college, I found a copy of my own!

  11. Mike Bierschenk

    Oh, and I forgot about River Road Recipes, from the Junior League of Baton Rouge, LA. There are now, I think, four volumes — the first and second are the best known; according to their website, Volume I is in its 70th printing. Seventieth! Goodness.

  12. um, YUM!!! Can't wait to make this! I have an extra gallon of raw milk that need used up so I may double this for this weekend's meals.

    The Ranch Style Beans were the perfect comfort food for our whacked out snow this past Sunday. We had them with cornbread and again with cheese and saltines. I liked them best with the crackers.


  13. texasinafrica

    The Austin Junior Forum has two cookbooks that are fantastic: Lone Star Legacy and Lone Star Legacy II. The first one even includes a chili recipe from Lady Bird Johnson.

  14. tallmisto

    You did mention a Colorado JL cookbook already, but my favorite is the Creme do Colorado cookbook. We've used that and the Colorado Cache cookbook for years. It tends to hold those recipes that you just keep turning back too.

    Now I'm going to have to check out some of your other JL finds.

  15. Linda at Lime in the Coconut!

    Well Heavens to Betsy on a silver spoon…this looks GO-OOD!

  16. I also agree with the suggestion of Houston JL's Stop and Smell the Rosemary. Lots of great stuff there! My mom also has some great JL cookbooks from Lafayette,LA and New Orleans.

  17. Jaye Joseph

    I think my favorite cheese enchiladas in the world come from the Flavors cookbook. I absolutely love that one. I'm also a big fan of the Augusta "Tea Time at the Masters" and the Louisiana (New Orleans?) "Lagniape"

  18. KnittingReader

    My favorite is Fiesta, which my mom gave me when I left for college. She has an extensive collection of JL cookbooks. Now I'm looking forward to exploring them.

  19. tejasjeff

    I was in Half-price books around town in San Antonio lately and it is rare to find a used Flavors in stock.
    It has aged well and a lot of younger folks keep it alongside the Joy of Cooking.

  20. Natalie (The City Sisters)

    Someone gave me Lone Star to Five Star the Plano JL cookbook as a wedding gift. I absolutely love it! Although, it looks like I'll need to pick up Houston's and El Paso's now! Thanks for the beautiful recipe. The Dallas weather may be warming up (finally), but I'm always in the mood for soup and chowder! I will definitely be cooking this over the weekend.

  21. I agree, those Junior League cookbooks nearly often have a few recipes that are definite keepers. This sounds wonderful; I like your changes to the recipe.

  22. My favorite cookbook of this type is THE GALACTEGG GOURMET. It was produced by Electrical Eggs, a group that facilitates handicapped access at SF conventions. It featured recipes from SF writers and fans.

  23. Manderley

    The Junior League cookbook from Lafayette, Louisiana "Talk About Good" is the one you want for real cajun cooking. It's available on Amazon and as a native of the Lafayette area I have had a copy all my adult life…wouldn't leave home without it!

  24. lljljljljj

    I grew up in Florida, but both my parents are Texans and we later moved there. My mother used to always make a cookie recipe from the Abilene JL cookbook called "Tumbleweeds" – my dad loved them. Fast forward a few years to when we moved to Abilene, our next-door neighbor was the woman who had submitted the recipe!

    The cookbook was from the 80s – it's funny to look back and see the names that have changed (i.e. Mrs. So and So is now divorced and is married to Mrs. So and So's ex husband).

  25. I too have a Junior League cookbook from New Orleans, which I love. Oddly, I bought it in the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop at Disneyland.

  26. I, too, LOVE Junior League cookbooks and I wholeheartedly agree with those who recommend Houston JL "Stop and Smell the Rosemary"
    I received their new one "Peace Meals" as a Christmas present and I am loving it, as well!

  27. OH, and I almost forgot the Denver JL's book "Colorado Colore". There's a recipe for pasta with carmelized shallots and blue cheese that is one of my go-to's!

  28. Lisa Fain

    Dragna–I hear that one is incredible! It's next on my list.

    Lucie–I always wanted to live above a bookstore, and to live above Bonnie's must have been a treat!

    Susan–I'm very excited about Flavors as well–such a treasure!

    Amy–Are you talking about Charleston Receipts? I believe that's the oldest Junior League cookbook–a classic

    James–Howdy! And I'm so happy you and your family is enjoying the site!

    Brenda–It's the 1989 edition.

    Staci–Stop and Smell the Rosemary is worth buying for the title alone!

    Racingyogagirl–I wouldn't expect anything less from New Orleans!

    Anon–I haven't heard of River Road or Traditions–I'll definitely check them out!

    Mike–A JL cookbook called La Pinata? I'm sold!

    Molly–This is a great way to use up some milk. You should make cheese with it as well! And crackers are wonderful with Ranch Style Beans, I agree.

    Tallmisto–I think that's the one my mom has, but I'll have to check.

    Linda–Why thank you!

    Cara–I would trust any community cookbook from Louisiana!

    Jaye–I can only imagine how wonderful Tea Time at the Masters is. Hooray for pimento cheese!

    KnittingReader–So many votes for Flavors–i need to start cooking with it!

    Tejasjeff–I had no idea!

    Natalie–My grandma lives in McKinney, I wonder if she has the Plano one? I'll have to ask her about it. Thanks for the tip!

    Kalyn–I agree, they're definite keepers! And thank you!

    Janus–I love the title of that one, though I've never heard of the group. I gather the recipes call for other ingredients besides eggs?

    lljljljj–Wow! I can't believe you ended up living next door to her. And one of the things I love about Junior League and community cookbooks–the back story behind each recipe.

    Manderley–I bet the Lafayette JL cookbook is terrific–and I love the name!

    Matt–What a strange place to find it.

    Esmer–Peace Meals, Stop and Smell the Rosemary and Colorado Colore are going on my list. That pasta sounds heavenly!

  29. Ina Pickle

    DEFINITELY get the McAllen Junior League cookbook — "La Pinata." It dates from the very early 80s or late 70s, and it's got some fantastic recipes. They did a second book that is good, but not as fantastic as the first. There is an entire Mexican food section, and it is quite full. Also a lot of very decent game recipes.

    In a town of 100,000 or so, that book has sold close to a million copies — if that tells you anything. 😉

  30. I just looked and I also have the 1989 edition =) I got it as a wedding present. The other edition is 1974 and it was my Grandfathers.

  31. I like a hearty, vegetable chowder, and I think this one would be great year-round. The mix of potato, poblano, cilantro, and lime is a such a good one. In the summer, I might even throw in some fresh corn.

  32. I just landed a copy of San Francisco à la Carte, 1979, by the San Francisco Junior League. I wanted it specifically for the Green Goddess Dressing recipe, which appears to be the closest to the original from the Palace Hotel.

  33. Certainly you have Dallas Dish. ?? We put that out maybe five years ago and it is a beauty. One of the best recipes is for a chocolate layer cake, but I make it in a bundt pan, chill it, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. It is my signature "take along", although now all my friends will see and know I'm not a genius!

  34. Tatersmama

    Ohmigosh! This looks and sounds sooo good!
    I love the old church or CWA (Country Women's Association here in Oz) cookbooks, and the first thing I'm going to do when I get home to CA, is hit the yard sales!
    Then I'll do my best to stock up on longed-for ingredients that I just can't get here.

  35. The Runaway Spoon

    I have a huge collection of JL cookbooks. I always look for them when I visit a city. Of course, I love or local Memphis Heart & Soul book. The International Assoc. of Junior Leagues has put out 3 collections best of recipes from all over. You can order them on Amazon.

  36. Somehow, in all my years of living in NYC I haven't been to that bookstore! I might have to pay it a visit this weekend.

    I've never heard of these cookbooks so I can't give a recommendation but if this chowder is any indication, I may have to start a collection!

  37. California Country

    The Gasparilla Cookbook from the Junior League of Tampa Bay Florida from the early 60's is my favorite. It was the most exotic thing in our Michigan home while growing up. Recipes like: Grapefruit Shortcake, Bollitos, Liptauer, Brandy Coffee Pie, Boone Tavern Hushpuppies, and "Girdle-Buster" Pie…..all to die for.

  38. I love love love Jr League Cookbooks. The Beaumont Jr League's last one, Dining Without Reservations, has a microwave praline recipe. 13 minutes in the microwave. Seriously. Un-flippin-believable! The Cincinnati one "When Pigs Fly" is another great one but really, can you go wrong with a jr league cookbook?

  39. Flavors is one of my favorite cookbooks. When I get too homesick, I just look through it!

  40. These recipes are my favorites. They are tried and true, and come from people that really cook. I love, love, love green chilies in any way they come.

  41. twobarkingdogs

    I have about 10 or 12 of them, mostly ones from Virginia, Louisiana, and Florida.

    (( I have also sold a bunch of them on Amazon over the years, having culled out about 25 or 30 of the JL books alone over the last 3 years!!! ))

    I'm only keeping JL cookbooks from places I've been, or anything having to do with Cajun/New Orleans/Soul Food. Or that look interesting, or until I fill up the cookbook bookshelf again, or if I find them at a yardsale or thrift store really cheap.

    … ok you figured it out ITS AN OBSESSION THAT MUST BE STOPPED !!

  42. AmandaLP

    I finally got the copy of my family's "Hospital Axillary" cookbook (from 1984). It is fun flipping through it, because the recipes that we used are on stained pages. I am also finding my Grandmother's notes in the margins.

  43. I skimmed the comments and didn't see a recommendation for the JL's River Road Cookbook out of NOLA.

    The older the edition the better…I've got one from the early 70s – on the prowl for a first edition.

  44. Quick followup – okay going back over…I lied – lots of recommendations for River Road! 🙂

  45. Victoria

    I was preparing my grocery list today when I read your post. It sounded so delicious that I added the ingredients to my shopping list and made it for dinner. Really delicious.

  46. plainsgal

    "Seasoned With Sun" was my very first grownup cookbook, a Christmas present from my mom in the 1970s (first ed). Try the Chile Verde–it's great. Another good one is the Lubbock JL "A Perfect Setting." It has a great crockpot Beef Stroganoff, but my favorite recipe is "Tamale Soup." Both fabulous for a cold night–though I'll eat either in any season.

    • Plainsgal

      I see I already commented on this post 8 years ago, but I would also add that the Southwestern Cornbread in Seasoned with Sun is also great. In an age when I seldom open a cookbook except to read for pleasure, I still rely on my trusty copy of Seasoned with Sun!

  47. Anonymous

    Here's another vote for "Stop and Smell the Rosemary", which is a beautiful and elegant cookbook.

    I lived in the Dallas area for 9 years before moving to the Houston area, and everyone near Denton swears by the Denton Woman's Club Cookbook.

    And if you ever find yourself in the Dallas area, or visiting Grandma in McKinney, do make a side trip to Denton. Recycled Books on the Denton Square is a treasure. It has the most amazing array of junior league and community cookbooks (and cookbooks in general) downstairs. Great prices, constantly changing inventory, a real adventure, and a true Texas treasure!

  48. Anonymous

    One of my favorite cookbooks is "The California Heritage Cookbook" for the Junior League of Pasadena (1976). It is sadly "thrashed" from constant use.
    My favorite recipes are Enchilada de Pollo Verde and an appetizer recipe for Mandarin Chicken wings.
    I have been prohibited by the "cookbook police" from buying any new cookbooks; basically because I have no room for more but reading about these cookbooks has stirred my passion !

  49. "The Star of Texas" is one of my look -in-there-for – the-recipe-first for certain things. I love the blender picante sauce and tomatillo sauce and cuban blackbean soup.

  50. Some of my mom's most used cookbooks were her copies of the Texhoma garden and rotary club cookbooks. And my grandma recently sent me the newest edition of her garden club's cookbook. I'm amazed that such a small town is able to produce so many cookbooks. =)

    However, I'd recommend two more easily obtained junior league(-ish) cookbooks. One is Pirate's Pantry from the The Junior League of Lake Charles. The other is the grandma of 'em all though….

    The Congressional Club Cookbook. It's annual collection of recipes submitted by the wives, husbands and assorted family members of the Members of Congress along with recipes from the Senators and Representatives themselves. My copy from 2005 is very pretty.

  51. Jackson, Mississippi's JL Come on In! is good as well as their older one called Southern Sideboards.

    I do love my Houston JL Stop and Smell the Rosemary as many people have mentioned.

    I am from Nashville so I can't leave out the JL Notably Nashville!

    I have a weakness for JL cookbooks and am excited to learn of so many more to look for! T

    the soup looks wonderful!

  52. Lisa Fain

    Ina Pickle–Done!

    Brenda–Are there differences between the two editions?

    Lisa–Yes! I was thinking corn in the summer would be an excellent addition!

    Sean–I had no idea that Green Goddess was created at the Palace.

    Mock–I do not, but will add it to my list!

    Tatersmama–I love that community cookbooks transcend borders!

    The Runaway Spoon–I'll have to look into the compilations–what a great way to get recipes from all over the place.

    Joanne–You must go! Bonnie's the best.

    California Country–Ha! I'm all for something called girdle-buster pie!

    Leiah–You can make pralines in the microwave? Wow!

    Janne–It's definitely like taking a virtual trip to SA.

    CopyKat–I agree, these tried and true recipes are the best.

    Twobarkingdogs–We should form a support group for our obsession!

    Madcook–I will definitely stop by on my next trip home.

    AmandaLP–Used cookbooks with stained pages are the best. A true sign it's worth cooking from!

    Teri–No worries, it's definitely worth mentioning again!

    Victoria–Hooray! I'm so happy y'all enjoyed it!

    Plainsgal–Tamale soup? Sold!

    Anon–I hear you! I'm out of shelf space but my obsession continues!

    Sandye–I grew up on that black bean soup–the best!

    Steff–I'll definitely have to check out the Congressional Club Cookbook.

    Alice–How can you not want to cook from a book called Come On In?

  53. Tasty Eats At Home

    Ooh, this sounds delicious. I should really look for more Junior League cookbooks too! I only have one for Plano, Texas. I'd ignored it for the past few years, but the other day, I was thumbing through it, and realized just how delicious some of the recipes are in there! I definitely need to cook from it again!

  54. Why would I need a JL cookbook when I can just read your blog? You take a JL recipe and make it better.

  55. folloder

    Made this for light dinner last night, but added a twist I'm sure HT would approve of… I took a bit chipotle in adobo and pureed it with a bit of chicken broth and used it as a drizzle on the soup. Beside looking pretty, it gave a little more smoky oomph. Umm, ther is no leftover soup.

  56. Just a Plane Ride Away

    Ditto on "Stop and Smell the Rosemary" from JLH. I am from Houston, after all!

    Orange Rolls, Cinnamon Rolls, and Chicken and Spinach crepes. Tastes of home and memories of lovely girly lunches 🙂

  57. Simply Classic, Seattle's Junior League. It was one of my first cookbooks and I still dirty the pages.

  58. CheriOKC

    I actually have most of these. . . including both editions of Seasoned With Sun!! My Mom collected JL Cookbooks as she traveled with my Dad back in the 60/70s (her River Road I is absolutely threadbare). She started me down that road as a young wife/mother and I inherited all of her's (hence both editions of SWS. . her's and mine).

  59. My favorite is "Texas Ties" from the Junior League of North Harris County – I got it as a wedding shower gift several years ago and I still use it.

  60. Lisa Fain

    Tasty Eats at Home–Definitely need to see if my grandma has the Plano one.

    Anon–Love the screen door, too! How inviting!

    Edward–Now aren't you the sweetest!

    Folloder–I indeed approve!

    Just a Plane Ride Away–I'm a big fan of orange rolls.

    Brenda–I bet there's lots of good seafood recipes in that one.

    CheriOKC–My, you have quite a collection!

    Kathi–Yes! My mom has that one, too! Love the stories.

    Bruce–I think adding fish and scallops is an excellent idea! Good luck with the contest!

  61. simplysandi

    I do not own any Junior League Cookbooks, but I'm inspired to check all of these out!

  62. One of my favorites is the "Cottage Kitchen" Cookbook, out of San Marcos. It's older and the recipes haven't been "lightened up" at all. I like it because the food is all old fashioned comfort food and the recipes are pretty easy to change, yet they always work!

    Thanks for the blog. I'm a homesick Texan myself and it is nice to relate.

  63. Anonymous

    This one – "Come On In" from the Jackson, MS Jr. League – is a favorite down here. I love the screen door cover.

  64. As a homesick San Diegan, I collect SD cookbooks. I have a junior league one called Delicious Decisions. I didn't even know there was a Junior League in SD before that book!

    My favorite SD community cookbooks are:

    Padre Pickins – recipes from the players and staff of the 1984 Padre baseball team.

    A cookbook from the staff of the now defunct San Diego based PSA airlines.

  65. I have a bag of Poblanos on my desk right now for dinner tonight – Pork Riblets w/Poblano crema – so good.
    Luchesse on your mind? I am glad you like my lovely city – yes the food is great and I think we are a friendlier bunch than the rest of Texas (sorry!).

  66. Bruce Swabb

    You've come to my rescue again! I have been searching for a recipe for a chowder contest in Newport RI this June, and I had been thinking of something with squash and green chilis. this sounds perfect! I might add some form of fish or scallops to keep the New Englanders at the table.

    I have enjoyed your blog so much. I have a sailing charter company and would love to treat you and a couple of friends to a day sail on the Hudson River. Anytime!

    Thanks again,

  67. This looks great — and the ingredient list reminds me of the incredible potato soup served at Sammy's Restaurant in north Fort Worth. I begged for the recipe once and was soundly rebuffed. I'm putting ingredients on the shopping list right now.

    The folks here in Colorado make something similar they call Green Chili. I've tried explaining to these people the chili is never green, but they won't listen. It's good nonetheless, but chili it ain't.

  68. Mark Scarbrough

    I believe a Junior League cookbook (from Arkansas? Memphis?) just won the Gourmand Cookbook award at the Paris book show. Not too shabby. (Nor the green chilis!)

  69. dcseattle

    I have been collecting JL cookbooks for years. My favorites are San Francisco a la Carte, San Francisco Encore, Creme de Colorado and Savor the Flavor of Oregon. After reading the other posts, it might be time to add a few new ones to my collection.

  70. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Best kept secret: New England Mobile Book Fair (home of Jessica's Biscuit) in Newton, MA, (just outside Boston) usually has a huge collection of Jr. League cookbooks in their warehouse-sized store.

  71. Kimberly

    My favorite is Calling All Cooks, a cookbook put together by the Alabama chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America. I love reading through it for not only the great recipes, but for the instructions given as well. You can tell by the directions how the cook liked to do things, by hand or by graduated measure, by taste or by the teaspoon. Recipes also frequently call for oleo, which makes me giggle.

  72. "Applehood and Mother Pie" was published back in the '80s by the Junior League of Rochester (NY), and it had some fabulous recipes. Very reliable. It was in a 3-ring binder format with a bright green bendable cover, so it stood up on its own.

  73. I bought Seasoned With Sun years ago yet I've never made the Green Chili Chowder! I too love regional cookbooks. My husband says, "How can you read a cookbook with no pictures???"
    Joy over at GrannyMountain
    Have a great weekend Lisa!

  74. deceiverofmen

    I love the Fredericksburg Home Kitchen Cookbook. It has recipes from 1916! You can tell how old some of them are by the ingredients or cooking methods. It also makes me smile to see a page with half german recipes and half mexican american recipes. So many german soups and pastries! Also the easiest and best peanut butter cookies i've ever made in there (just eggs, sugar, and peanut butter).

  75. Working Girl

    Two years ago, while I was studying Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, I bought La Esencia de la Cocina Mexicana, which is a junior league-ish type cookbook put out by the Cuernavaca chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa. I love it because the recipes are distinctly Mexican, but they have that same lady-food quality that your grandmother refers to.

    BTW — I love your blog. I found it a couple of years ago searching for a Texas style catfish recipe. A lot of your recipes are for dishes that I didn't know I was homesick for until I read them. I left Texas (Conroe) when I was twelve (30+ years ago). I now regularly make King Ranch Chicken, Texas Sheet Cake, and Catfish –and I always check your site before I make a Texas dish.

  76. Anonymous

    I love the Portland OR JL cookbook, Portland's Palate. It's got so many great recipes and these days you can get the ingredients in most places. I live in Dallas TX now and the local JL here has a good cookbook, too, so I'm sure I'll be purchasing soon. I love JL cookbooks!

  77. While I don't fit the Junior League profile, I sure love their cookbooks. My three favs you should consider are: True Grits (Atlanta), Toast to Tidewater (Norfolk-Virginia Beach), and Come On In (Jackson, MS).

    Great piece on the chowder. I might have to adapt your recipe so that I can use up some Hatch green chilis that are sitting in my freezer!

  78. I made this last night and ate two bowls before I knew what I had done. Each bite was followed with an "UMMMM". The only thing I did differently was add some Velveeta in the soup at the very end.. then I called it… Chile Relleno Chowder!! Love you Homesick Texan! Living in Roswell NM…some people consider this West Texas!

  79. Pirates Pantry from Lake Charles, Louisiana is a great JL cookbook.

  80. tasteofbeirut

    Say the word green chili and I start salivating! Used to devour the junior league cookbooks too, more out of curiosity though!

  81. Anonymous

    Hi! I can't wait to try the soup!! Three of the best Jr. League cookbooks are Cotton Country, Traditions from Little Rock and the original blue Dallas Jr. League Cookbook. You will have to get these on ebay or something like that. They are "older"!


  82. mhmccullough

    The JL Star of Texas has been a staple in my mothers kitchen for as long as I can remember. When I moved to DC from Houston my mom gave me a copy as a departing gift.

    BTW love the website and nice to see an ex-Xippie doing so well (:

    Heather (Sundin) McCullough

  83. Oh, Lisa, this post is wonderful—and the "two-season" chowder sounds great, too! 😉 Thanks.

  84. I love both the Colorado Collage and Houston's Peace Meals books. My obsession also started after being home in Houston for Christmas with my mom and her books! Can't wait to try this chowder, I'm always searching for the best green chile anything recipes.

  85. Another fan of "Stop and Smell the Rosemary" — it contains one of the best tortilla soup recipes I've ever tried.

    Of course, this chowder looks like it might give that soup a run for its money. Love that green chile flavor!

  86. Anonymous

    If you ever see a copy of "Beyond Parsley" from the Kansas City Junior League, grab it. It's wonderful!
    Martha in KS

  87. First Friday

    Love the changes you've made to the recipe in the El Paso JL cookbook. I've made it from the book and thought it was a little "flat". Will try your version; know it will be great.

    I have a dog-eared, stained, worn out copy of a Lafayette JL cookbook–"Jambalaya" that I've used for 30 years. One of my favorites, with a low quotient of "lady food" and a high proportion of solid creole dishes.


  88. My favorite JL cookbook so far is Charleston Receipts. It was so popular that they made a second, Charleston Receipts Repeats. The Easy Baklava in the first edition is actually amazing baklava. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  89. Lisa Fain

    Simplysandi–If you like tried and true recipes that tell a story, you'll love them.

    Lisa–I don't care about light! And I bet a cookbook out of San Marcos is wonderful.

    Debbie–I love that title, Delicious Decisions.

    CPTexas–That does sound good!

    Daniel–I've had green chili–and even it isn't all that green–more like a beige color.

    Mark Scarbrough–Oh, really? I'll have to check that out!

    DCSeattle–Another vote for Creme de Colorado. And I should ask my step-mom if she has Savor the Flavor since she and my dad live in Oregon.

    Lydia–Yes, that's very good to know. I'll holler when I'm coming that way!

    Kimberly–Whenever I see Oleo in a recipe I also giggle!

    Karen–I like that it comes in 3-ring binder– find the pages sometimes fall out of the plastic, spiral-bound books.

    Joycee–I have friends that say the same thing–it didn't even occur to me, probably because I learned to cook from Joy of Cooking.

    Deceiverofmen–I bet that book's a treasure. And I'm intrigued by that peanut butter cookie–is it like a meringue?

    Working Girl–I love it! I'll have to get that one for sure! And thank you so much for the kind words.

    Anon–I'll definitely be checking that one out next time I'm in PDX.

    Leslie–I certainly don't fit the profile either! And you gotta love a book named True Grits.

    Betty–Excellent news! I'm so happy y'all liked it!

    Sharon–Love the title!

    Tasteofbeirut–I agree, green chiles make me swoon.

    Marsha–I bet my grandma has the original blue Dallas Jr. League cookbook.

    Heather!!!! What a wonderful surprise seeing you here! Isn't Star of Texas just the best?

    Lisa–You're very welcome.

    Emily–There just must be something about being at home with your mom.

    Lo–The best tortilla soup recipe you've ever had? Now that's a reason to buy the book alone!

    Martha–Will do–my cousin Tex lives there, so I might have him find it for me.

    First Firday–Thank you! I thought it was improved, but then again I'm biased.

    Angela–That's the grandmother of all JL cookbooks. A classic!

  90. this chowder looks so good…I've never seen one with green chiles!

  91. Hi Lisa!!!

    Thnak you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it this evening and after one spoonful, my husband declared it a Keeper! We had the soup alongside Fish Tacos and it was delicious 🙂

    I only have one Junior League Cookbook but have made so many wonderful recipes from it: A Taste of Enchantment, Treasured Recipes from the Junior League of Albuquerque.

    Thanks again for a delicious recipe 🙂

    Have a good evening!

  92. Texan in UAE

    I so love your blog!

  93. Anonymous

    I also love JL cookbooks. You should take a look at Cane River Cuisine from Natchitoches, LA — my neck of the woods. Recipes for meat pies and other delights.
    -Lisa in Michigan

  94. Texhattan

    I love the Junior League of Dallas cookbooks – both the 1976 edition and the new beautiful coffee table book "Dallas Dish". I realize as a former JLDallas member I might be a tad biased, but I really do love Dallas Dish and it is my go to gift for showers, housewarmings, and hostess gifts!

  95. Momma gave me a copy of the Austin, TX JL book called "Necessities and Temptations" when I left North Mississippi in 1989. Several recipes within its covers have become staples of mine, especially for party foods and such.

    There is a great fake/quick mole sauce made with a cocoa powder roux and garlic that really works. It's in a cheese enchilada recipe.

    Your website keeps me inspired to cook and has provided many great ideas and recipes. Keep up the good work.


  96. I just bought my first Junior League cookbook, thanks to this post! We've lived here in East Tennessee for just six months and are about to move again, so I was happy to pick up a local cookbook.

    I made this chowder a few days ago and loved the flavor. It was a little too spicy for our entire family to enjoy so I will probably leave out the jalepenos next time.

    Thanks for another great dish!


  97. I'll go look through my cookbooks, but I'm pretty sure I have a half dozen Jr. League cookbooks at least. I have Flavors, being a native San Antonian. After moving away, I found that having some Tex-Mex recipes was essential even though I only moved to Dallas. One of my fav enchilada recipes for decandent chicken enchiladas is in the Beaumont JL cookbook. It's yummy.

  98. Knatolee

    Thanks for this recipe. I made this last night and it was delicious. I was happy I managed to find poblano peppers in Ottawa!

  99. cookietuesday

    Greetings from San Antonio! As you know, it is Hatch Chile season at HEB so I bought a bag of already roasted peppers. And in spite of it being 102* today, I made your green chile chowder. It was delicious and made me think of fall. I had a fleeting thought of turning the AC down to 65* and digging out a sweater. Thanks for the recipe!

  100. I just made this for the second time, this time for my new husband, and we were thrilled (in my case, thrilled again) with the results. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  101. I am a New York City transplant now living in Colorado and I'm really excited about cooking in my much, much larger kitchen. Mexican cuisine is a huge part of the food culture here, as it is in Texas. I cam across this recipe and it looks great. But– do you think I can substitute hatch chiles for poblano peppers? Are any of these chiles interchangeable? Iv'e got a bunch of hatch chiles and Im not sure what to do with them– and I love soups!
    Thanks for you thoughts. -Batya

  102. Lisa Fain

    Batya–That would be an excellent substitution!

  103. This sounds wonderful. I like my chowder heavy and thick. At what point in the recipe would I add a roux?

  104. Lisa Fain

    April–If you use a roux, add it at the beginning.

  105. I agree with Stop and smell the Rosemary! JL book and the chicken tortilla soup is the best! I have been looking for this recipe, forgot which cookbook it was in, until I read your post and the first person said it. It is a five star recipe, I just add frozen corn. I am making it today, yum yum!

  106. Obtw, I just ordered the JL cookbook you suggested. I am addicted to JL Cookbooks!

  107. DonnaHartley

    I am still cooking from the River Road (Louisiana) JL cookbook I bought in 1978! Fabulous.

Leave a Reply to Emily Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating