Spicy Corn Soup
- 4 ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob, or 3 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried chipotle chili powder *see note
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- *Note: Jalapenos that have been dried and then smoked are referred to as chipotles. Dried chipotle chiles can be ground into a powder and used for seasonings. This medium-size, thick fleshed chile is smoky and sweet and has a subtle, deep, rounded heat. In Santa Fe, local farmers sell fresh ground chipotle chili powder, but it is also available by mail order from the Source Guide in my cookbook; Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.
Prepare the corn by cutting the kernels from the cob. You should have approximately 3 cups of corn kernels from 4 cobs of corn. Save the corn cobs and set aside. The cobs will add additional corn flavor to the soup. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then the onions. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes until they are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and chipotle chili powder and saute for 1 more minute. Add the corn kernels and saute for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the salt, black pepper, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. (If you have cut your corn fresh from the cob, place the reserved cobs into the saucepan at this time). Once the mixture has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the corn kernels from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. While the corn soup is simmering, roast the red bell pepper. Char the skin of the pepper until it is black over an open flame or on a grill. When the skin is blistered and blackened, remove the pepper from the flame and place in a paper or plastic bag and seal. Let steam for 15 minutes. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and dice it.
Place the diced bell pepper into a blender with 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and blend thoroughly for 1 minute. Pour through a fine sieve and discard the contents of the sieve. Pour the red bell pepper sauce into a plastic squirt bottle and set aside. Remove the corn soup mixture from the heat, discard the corn cobs and set aside. Place the corn soup mixture in a blender and puree for 3 minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve and discard the contents of the sieve. Return the mixture to a saucepan, add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, and heat, over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Pour into bowls, garnish with some of the red pepper sauce and serve immediately.