No-Cream Creamy Corn Soup with Chipotle-Lime Topping
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
8 ears corn, shucked
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, or 2 cups canned diluted with 2 cups water
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 chipotle chiles
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup crema (Mexican creme fraiche)
To prepare the soup:
Using the large holes of a box grater set in a deep bowl, grate the corn down to the cob. This will be messy but well worth it. You should have about 5 cups of milky pulp. In a wide pot, saute the onion and celery in the oil and butter over medium heat until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the corn and stock and season with some salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Leave the soup as is or puree with an immersion or stand blender.
To make the topping:
Soften the chiles in water for 4 minutes in the microwave or 10 minutes simmering on the stove top, then discard the stems and some or all of the seeds (the heat is in the seeds). Using a food processor with the motor running, add the garlic cloves through the feed tube and process until chopped. Add the chiles, cilantro, lime juice and salt and process until well blended. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until blended. You will have about 3/4 cup. Alternatively, mince the topping ingredients by hand and whisk in the lime juice, salt and oil.
Pour the hot soup into individual bowls, then lightly whisk the crema and drizzle each serving with an equal amount of the chile mixture and the crema.
* Real creamed corn: Substitute 2 tablespoons butter for the butter and olive oil, and 1 cup stock or water for the stock. After sauteeing the celery and onion, add the corn, and season as directed, then cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup stock or water and continue cooking until the corn mixture is thick and fluffy and has lost its raw starchy taste and texture, about 10 minutes more, adding the remaining 1/2 cup liquid as needed. Serve immediately, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day, then reheat in a little butter. (You may notice some discoloration, but this will disappear on reheating.)
Yields 6 servings.
Recipe by Lynn Nusom, as it appeared in the 11/08/07 Las Cruces Sun-News.