Corn Soup With Red Pepper Swirl
Late summer is when corn and ripe peppers collide in the market. A well-seasoned purée of roasted red pepper swirled into this luscious soup makes a dramatic contrast to the corn’s sweetness.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1large red bell pepper
- 1or 2 fresh Fresno chiles, seeds removed, chopped
- 1teaspoon pimentón (smoked paprika) or 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1large onion, diced
- 3cups corn kernels (from 4 large ears) or 3 cups frozen corn kernels
- 6garlic cloves
- 4cups water, corn-cob broth (see Tip) or chicken broth
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Step 1Place bell pepper over an open flame or under broiler and roast, turning frequently with tongs, until blackened and blistered all over, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Cut in half vertically. With a paring knife, remove seeds from each half, then turn over and scrape away the blackened skin. Do not rinse; a little remaining char is fine.
Step 2Transfer roasted pepper to a blender or food processor and add Fresno chiles, pimentón, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend to a smooth thick purée. Set aside.
Step 3Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and corn kernels. Season well with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Cooking, stirring, until onions are softened and beginning to color, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Step 4Add 3 cups water or broth and salt to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, until corn is well cooked. Transfer to a blender and whiz to a smooth purée. Thin with water or broth to the consistency of heavy cream.
Step 5Pass soup through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a large spoon or ladle to extract every drop of liquid. (This step is important to guarantee a velvety texture.) Discard any fibrous remains. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Step 6To serve, reheat and ladle into shallow soup bowls. Swirl about 2 tablespoons pepper purée into the center of each bowl. Pass lime wedges at the table.