Vegan Tomato Bisque with Grilled Corn and Pasilla Peppers

This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide causing alot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.

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1 ear corn
1 pasilla chile
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for grilling chile and corn
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
About 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, blanched and peeled
1 quart low-sodium vegetarian broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat a grill to medium-high. Drizzle corn and chile with a bit of olive oil and grill until corn is charred on all sides and chile is blistered (approx. 10 minutes). Remove from grill, and place the chile in a bowl, covering tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to cool slightly while you make the soup.

Over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, carrots and celery in a large saucepan and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and spices–cook for 30 seconds or so, just until fragrant and well incorporated. Throw in the tomatoes and break them up a bit with your wooden spoon. Add the broth, reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes or so.

Remove from heat, allow soup to cool slightly and process in your food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pot, stir in almond milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to reheat if you’d like.

Slice corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Peel skin off the chile, discard stem and seeds and chop finely. Ladle soup into bowls and top with chile and corn. Serves about 4, generously.