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Chili Enough for Soup

March 22, 2010

Normally fall is the season when the Mouse House Kitchen gets into soup mode, but this is a “season-less” recipe from some guy named Rick Bayless that satisfies no matter what the weather.  Corn and roasted poblano chilies are an amazing combination of sweet and savory that make the taste buds dance.  Chicken and ham both work well here, so take your pick.  Vegetarians can certainly omit the meat and still enjoy this dish.   This soup is thickened by corn starch, not flour, no it doesn’t get that “chowder” texture, but it’s still on the heavy side as far as soups go, so I recommend it more as a side than a main course.  Serve with Bayless’ avocado and mango salad and you’ve got a delicious meal.  Enjoy!

Creamy Corn Soup with Poblano

(serves 4)

1 large fresh poblano chile
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 small white onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups corn kernels, frozen or canned (or cut from the cob if you can!)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 quart milk
2 pre-cooked chicken breasts, shredded OR 8 oz. diced ham
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Roast the poblano directly on the open flame of a stovetop or under a broiler until charred and blackened all over, 5-10 minutes depending on method. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel until cool enough to handle. In the meantime, heat the oil over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan and add the garlic and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Transfer to a food processor along with the corn, cornstarch, and 1½ cups of the milk.  Process into a purée and transfer back to the saucepan, straining out the corn kernel skins if desired.  Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. When the poblano is cooled somewhat, rub off the blackened skins and pull out the stem and seeds.  Cut into ¼-inch strips or pieces, then stir into the simmering soup along with the chicken or ham and remaining milk. Simmer until the chicken/ham is heated through, stirring as you go.  Serve with sprinkled cilantro.  Eat!

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