The back-of-the-throat heat of poblano chili plays off the sweetness of fresh corn. This recipe scales up easily to make enough for a dinner party -- or to freeze all but one serving for later meals. To make it particularly elegant, you can strain it and serve it chilled, but the soup seems heartier when the corn texture remains and it is served hot.
Vegetable broth or water may be substituted for the corn broth, but the soup won't have as much corn flavor.
- 1 medium (3 ounces) poblano chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- Kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups corn broth (see related recipe; may substitute vegetable broth or water)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek-style yogurt (optional), whisked smooth
Place the poblano directly on a gas burner over medium-high heat. Cook, turning it occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is charred all over. (Alternatively, position an oven rack 4 inches from the broiling element and preheat the broiler. Place the poblano on a piece of aluminum foil, then on the rack to broil for 10 to 15 minutes; turn frequently until charred all over.)
Transfer the poblano to a plastic food storage bag and seal, or place in a small bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, discard the blackened skin, stem and seeds, then finely chop the remaining flesh to yield about 3 tablespoons. (It is easier to remove the skin under running water, but some cooks say that washes away flavor.)
Combine the oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts foaming, add the onion, garlic and all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped poblano; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft.
Add the corn and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the corn broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree and create a slightly chunky, thickened soup. (Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender; remove the center cap of the lid and place a clean dish towel over the opening. This will allow steam to escape. Puree until smooth.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spoon a dollop of yogurt in the center of the soup, if desired, and garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chopped poblano.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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