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Let's Eat

Corn and poblano chowder

(Food Styling/Sheryl Julian and Jill Gibson; Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
September 22, 2010

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Serves 4

Simple soups can acquire complexity when the ingredients are both complementary and balanced. Poblano peppers are mild, green chilies that add gentle heat to a pot of fresh, sweet, native corn. When buying chilies, look for peppers that are firm with smooth, shiny skin. Roasting and charring the chili requires a watchful eye. Once charred, peeled, and seeded, the flesh imparts a deep smokiness and gentle heat to the bowl. If the soup isn’t hot enough for your taste, add some of the chili seeds or blacken an additional pepper. Substitute Anaheim chilies for the poblano, if you like.

1 poblano pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
Salt, to taste
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk

1. Turn on the broiler. In a broiler pan, set the poblano and broil it about 6 inches from the element for 10 minutes, turning often, or until it is charred on all sides. Transfer the poblano to a paper bag, close the bag, and let it steam for 15 minutes.

2. Peel off the poblano skin, and discard the stem and seeds. Coarsely chop the flesh; set aside.

3. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

4. Add the poblano, corn, and salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and milk. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the soup. In a blender, puree the remaining soup until smooth. Return it to the pan. Add the reserved soup and heat until hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Jill Gibson