Thursday, June 6, 2013

Creamy Summer Soup

I spoke of my love for summer in my last post, so I'll spare you this time around. Suffice it to say the weather in Seattle has been phenomenal this week and has gotten everyone in the summer frame of mind. I'm tempted to go run through the sprinkler a few times to make it official.

This soup is about as summery as you can get. It also pulls off a neat trick: it's creamy enough to make you swear there's some dairy in there somewhere, but there's not. This is a really fresh-tasting, back-to-basics kind of soup. Other than the broth, the ingredients are all you see here:

You'll need a grill for this, though holding the peppers over the open flame of a stove burner will do in a pinch. If your stove is electric and you have no grill, you can drizzle the peppers in a little olive oil and put them in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes to get the same effect. Just be sure to put them in a covered bowl or paper bag immediately after you take them out. I don't recommend doing that with the corn, so just skip charring it if you're doing things this way.

3 ears of sweet corn
1 red bell pepper
1 medium ripe avocado
4 green onions
1 medium Anaheim chile
1 medium Poblano chile
2 cups veggie broth
1 lime, cut into wedges

Start up your grill and let it heat up for a bit. Meanwhile, dice the red pepper and green onions and put them together into a bowl.

Grill the chiles for about 3 minutes per side, until they are blackened and blistered. Take them off the grill and put them directly into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. You can also put them into a paper bag and seal the opening. Leave them in there for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat a bit on your grill. Remove the outer husks and silk from one of the ears of corn, until just the bottom husks are left (the ones wrapped directly around the corn). Grill the corn until the husks are burnt off and the corn itself is getting charred. I ended up charring mine a little more than what's shown here, but this works as well.

Remove the kernels from the other two ears of corn and put them into a blender with the flesh of the avocado, broth and a pinch of salt. Puree until smooth.

Take your chiles out of the bowl or bag. After steaming in there for a while, the skin should be very easy to peel off. I use the back edge of a knife to take the skin off. Cut the top and stem off the chiles and slice it down the middle. Remove the seeds and inner part of the stem from the chiles. Add all of the Anaheim chile and half of  the Poblano to the blender and puree some more.

Dice the unused half of the Poblano chile and add it to the bowl with the red bell pepper and green onion. Cut the kernels off the grilled cob of corn and add them to the bowl and stir it all together.

At this point, you're done. You can eat it as-is, at room temperature (which is what we did), or chill it in the fridge and have it cold later. If you're not serving it immediately, go ahead and put both into the fridge. Serve by ladling the soup into bowls and topped with a bit of the pepper and corn salsa and a wedge of lime to squeeze into the soup.

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