By SARA MOULTON
Sometimes it seems that just as we get ourselves fully into summer mode, we need to start thinking back to school.
During summer, dinner could be casual, but the start of the school year means a return to at least a slightly more formal sit-down dinners.
This chowder recipe makes liberal use of two of my favorite "cheating ingredients": store-bought rotisserie chicken and salsa.
I've never met a rotisserie chicken I didn't like. Heat one up and pretend you roasted it, or shred it and add it to recipes from chilies and sandwiches to salads and soups.
Salsa is another ingredient I keep handy at all times. An all-purpose condiment that's replaced ketchup in many households, there's a salsa these days for every taste. Use the salsa of your choice to set the spiciness of this soup.
Fresh corn is one of late summer's great stars, built into this recipe not only because it's absurdly good but also because the starch in the corn helps to thicken the broth.
Finally, at the end of the cooking process, I pureed some of the vegetables — the onions, as well as corn and the potatoes — to make the soup creamy without adding any cream.
I recommend garnishing this soup with homemade tortilla strips.
The real beauty of this soup is that it's a hearty and complete meal in a single bowl.