It’s that time of year again when soup is almost always on our weekly menu. The dreary, drizzly days and the chill in the air make it perfect weather for sitting inside with a warm bowl of soup. This particular recipe seemed the perfect way to bridge the gap between summer and fall. I used good old Indiana sweet corn from the farmers’ market, and this tasted fantastic. The flavor of the corn really played a starring role as it should (it is corn soup after all!), and the heat from the chipotle was a welcome addition. Jen warned in her blog entry that adding more chipotles makes this incredibly spicy, so I heeded her advice and only used one for the half-batch that I made. It was just about right for me – spicy, yes, but not so bad that I needed to down several glasses of water throughout the meal. I mostly added the garnish for photographic purposes, but it ended up adding another dimension of texture that I really enjoyed. The leftovers made for great lunches as well. Enjoy!
For the soup:
6 medium ears sweet corn
2 chipotle peppers
1 large red onion, minced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cumin, to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half
For the relish:
Reserved grilled corn
¼ cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp. honey
1-2 tbsp. white vinegar
Salt, to taste
Shuck the corn. Rub the cobs lightly with oil and season with salt. Place on a heated grill or grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until some but not all kernels blacken and pop and the cobs are nicely browned. Remove from the heat and cut the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife. Transfer half of the corn to a bowl and set aside for a later use.
Add the other half of the corn to the bowl of a food processor along with the chipotle, red onion, spices and half of the chicken broth. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse paste. You can leave the soup on the chunkier side if you prefer. Add more broth as needed. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan or stockpot, and stir in the cream and half-and-half. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. For fullest flavor, simmer and reduce the volume of soup by half.
To make the relish, add all the remaining relish ingredients to the bowl with the reserved corn. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.