It's tough to improve on this Corn and Poblano Soup from Diana Kennedy so she deserves the credit here. It seems to achieve an ideal balance between the corn and the roasted poblanos. Easier said than done.
In her book The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, Ms. Kennedy cites Senora Cantu as the inspiration for her recipe. It makes you wonder how many generations have had their day brightened up by the unique combination of corn and poblanos. In other words...who inspired Senora Cantu?
Corn and Poblano Soup Recipe
Don't forget that poblano peppers can vary quite a bit in size. I'm using 3 smallish poblanos, but 2 of the larger ones would be plenty for this recipe. And if you aren't a fan of spicy foods you could probably cut the poblano amount in half.
Give the poblanos a good rinse and roast them in the oven at 400F along with 3 plum tomatoes.
I usually flip the poblanos after 10-15 minutes. In about 30 minutes or so they'll look like this:
Once the poblanos have cooled, most of the loose, transparent skin will peel off quite easily. Don't worry about getting every last bit as it won't affect the flavor too much.
Then you can de-stem and de-seed the poblanos.
It's okay if you have a few seeds straggling behind.
Chop the poblanos into bite-sized strips and saute them in 3 tablespoons of butter for a couple minutes.
Meanwhile, add the 3 tomatoes to a blender along with 1/4 onion. Combine well and add the tomato-onion mixture to the poblanos.
Cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until the tomato sauce reduces down a bit. This will give you time to blend together 3 cups of corn and 3 cups of milk.
This will be the base for the soup. I strained this through a sieve to remove the pulpy bits but I'm not sold on that being completely necessary.
Slowly add the strained corn base to the poblano mixture while stirring continuously. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked pepper, and up to 1 cup of whole corn kernels.
This can simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat; no need to bring it to a full boil when using milk as a base.
Note that when compared to our Roasted Poblano Soup, garnish is less important here as the soup itself already has a range of competing flavors.
But it's still amazing what a final dash of acidity can do. I used lime juice for this batch...
...along with Crema, finely diced cilantro stems, and some freshly cracked pepper. So good!
Give it a try and you might inspire the next generation.
Corn and Poblano Soup
- 3 poblano peppers
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1/4 onion
- 4 cups corn kernels
- 3 cups milk
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Crema (or heavy cream, or sour cream)
- lime juice
- finely diced cilantro stems
- Rinse the poblanos and tomatoes. Roast them at 400F for 30 minutes or so. I usually flip the poblanos after 15 minutes.
- Once the poblanos have cooled, pull off as much of the transparent skin as you can.
- De-stem and de-seed the poblanos, chopping them into bite-sized pieces.
- Saute the chopped poblanos in 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat for a couple minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the 3 tomatoes and 1/4 onion to a blender and combine well.
- Add the tomato-onion mixture to the poblanos and let this reduce down for a few minutes.
- Add 3 cups of corn kernels and 3 cups of milk to a blender and combine well.
- Run the corn mixture through a sieve and discard the leftover pulp
- Slowly add the strained corn sauce to the poblano mixture, stirring continuously
- Add the remaining cup of whole corn kernels along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Let simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes but do not bring to a full boil
- Salt to taste and serve immediately
- Garnish with your choice of Crema (or heavy cream, or sour cream), lime juice, freshly ground pepper, and finely diced cilantro stems.
Got leftover poblanos? You can whip up a poblano quesadilla without breaking a sweat.