Sweet Corn Soup with Toasted Corn Guacamole
This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.
They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.
8 ears fresh sweet corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots (2 medium)
1 fresh poblano pepper, roasted* and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 large avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs (should have about 4 cups). Set aside 3/4 cup of the corn for the guacamole. Set aside three of the corn cobs; discard remaining cobs.
In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the shallots, half of the poblano pepper, and half of the garlic. Cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and reserved corn cobs to the skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove corn cobs and discard; reserve broth in skillet.
Add the 3 1/4 cups corn kernels to the broth in the skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Cool slightly. In a blender or food processor combine cooked corn and shallot mixture. Cover and blend or process until almost smooth.
Return pureed mixture to the skillet. Slowly whisk in enough remaining broth to reach desired consistency; heat through. Keep soup warm while preparing guacamole.
For guacamole, in a large skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the 3/4 cup reserved corn kernels. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until kernels are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
In a medium bowl combine toasted corn, the remaining garlic, the remaining shallot, the remaining poblano pepper, the cilantro, lime peel, lime juice, salt, and black pepper. Add the avocado. Lightly toss to combine.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with guacamole and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco cheese.
From the Test Kitchen
To roast the poblano pepper, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise. Wearing plastic or rubber gloves, remove stem, seeds, and membranes. Place pepper halves, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast about 20 minutes or until skins are charred. Bring foil up around pepper and fold edges to enclose. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of skin; gently pull off skin in strips and discard.