Velvety Corn Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Swirl

I have another fresh corn dish to share. ūüôā This wonderful soup was buttery and luxurious. The beautiful swirl of roasted red peppers pur√©ed with Fresno chiles and smoked paprika gave the finished dish the perfect amount of heat. It is a great late summer dish to serve as the evening temperatures begin to drop.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I modified the proportions and puréed the soup in a Vitamix and omitted pressing it through a sieve. I used chicken stock, but the original recipe also includes instructions to make corn-cob broth to use as an alternative. Delicious!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2¬†large red bell peppers
  • 3¬†fresh Fresno chiles, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1¬†1/2¬†tsp piment√≥n (smoked paprika) or 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted¬†butter
  • 1¬†1/2¬†large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 6 large ears) or 4 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups water, corn-cob broth (see below) or chicken stock, plus more to adjust consistency
  • Lime wedges, for garnish, optional
  1. Place bell peppers on an aluminum foil lined, rimmed baking sheet under broiler and roast, turning frequently with tongs, until blackened and blistered all over, about 5 minutes per side. (Alternatively, the peppers can also be charred over an open gas flame.)
  2. Remove from heat, wrap in the aluminum foil pan lining (to steam off the charred skin), and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Cut in each in half vertically. With a paring knife, remove seeds from each half, then turn over and peel away the blackened skin. Do not rinse; a little remaining char is fine. Reserve one half for another use.
  4. Transfer 3 halves of 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 purée. Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  6. Add onions and corn kernels to the melted butter. 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.
  7. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Add 4 1/2 cups water or stock/broth and salt to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, until corn is well cooked.
  9. Transfer to a blender or Vitamix and whiz to a smooth purée. Thin with additional water or stock/broth to the consistency of heavy cream, as desired. (I did not add any additional stock.)
  10. If using a Vitamix, purée soup at the highest setting for one minute to ensure a velvety smooth purée. (If using a blender or food processor, pass 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.)
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  12. To 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, as desired.

To Make Corn-Cob Broth: put 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Add 6 corn cobs, cut into 3-inch chunks; 1 small onion, sliced; and a small sprig or two of thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain. Make broth up to 24 hours in advance.

Roasted Red Pepper, Corn, & Tomato Soup

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I had a BOUNTY of red peppers this year in my CSA share. I found this recipe on an extensive search for a creative use for them… last year I made Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (link below) more than once, and, although delicious, I wanted something new! ūüôā (One¬†can only eat so many red peppers in salad too…)

I was completely floored by this delicious soup. The color was incredible too. What a wonderful surprise! The roasted vegetables – especially the corn- gave it a fabulous depth of flavor. It was chili-esque. In fact, it was¬†the BEST vegetarian “faux” chili I have ever tasted- and the BEST use for my bounty of CSA red peppers! (not to mention late-summer corn!) We ate it with green salad and¬†popovers–¬†but it would also be wonderful with cornbread. This recipe was adapted from Knead to Cook.com.

I’m bringing it to this week’s party over at The Novice Gardener. Happy Fiesta Friday #36!!

  • 4 ears of fresh corn
  • 3 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 red bell peppers or red long peppers
  • olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ricotta salata, for serving, optional
  • cilantro, for serving, optional
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roast red peppers on a baking sheet 5-7 minutes a side, until charred. Turn over and repeat to char the other side. Cover with foil to steam. When cool enough to touch, remove skin, seeds, and stems. Roughly chop.
  3. On a cookie sheet drizzle a bit of olive oil. Remove the corn kernels from the cob; place on the cookie sheet. Add the tomatoes. Toss to coat with the olive oil, adding extra if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and chopped red peppers and stir.
  5. Add the stock and spices to the red pepper mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Add the roasted corn and tomatoes. Reserve some corn for a garnish, if desired. With an immersion blender, or working in batches with a food processor, puree until smooth. Continue to cook simmer for an additional 20 minutes or longer over a low flame.
  7. Serve garnished with reserved corn, a sprinkling of cheese, and/or cilantro, if desired.

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One Year Ago:

5-Minute Dips

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It is great to have a quick appetizer to throw together for entertaining- especially in warm weather. Both of these dips can be prepared in less than 5 minutes. The Greek Feta & Red Pepper Dip is more rich and full-flavored than the refreshing and light Dill-Yogurt Dip. Both are simple and tasty.

Greek Feta & Red Pepper Dip

This recipe is from The Wanderlust Kitchen. We ate it with pita chips, but it would also be tasty with warm pita bread.

  • 8 ounces high-quality feta cheese
  • 6 ounces jarred, oil-packed, roasted red peppers
  • ¬ľ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ‚Öõ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2¬†T olive oil
  1. Roughly break up the cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the roasted red peppers, salt, and red pepper flakes then pulse the processor a few times.
  2. While continuing to pulse, drizzle in the olive oil. Depending on the feta used, you may want to add a bit more olive oil until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  3. Serve with vegetables, pita chips, and/or warm pita bread for dipping.

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Dill-Yogurt Dip

This tzatziki-like dip was fresh, tasty, and healthy. We ate it with crudités, but it would also be tasty with bread, pretzels, pita bread, or pita chips. This recipe was adapted from Simple Pairings.

  • 1 cup Fage Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 T¬†fresh¬†dill, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced through a garlic press, optional
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk, or more as needed to bring the dip to desired consistency
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • coarse salt or sea salt, to taste, if desired
  1. Combine the Greek yogurt, dill, vinegar, and garlic.
  2. Add milk to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Season with black pepper and salt, to taste, if desired. Keep chilled.
  4. Stir the dip immediately before serving.

One Year Ago:

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

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I haven’t made “red pepper pasta” for several years. The last time I served it, we were having one of my husband’s new colleagues and her family for dinner. We didn’t ask them about their food preferences until after they arrived at our home…. (What were we thinking?) When asked, they said that they ate EVERYTHING except for red bell peppers. Everyone felt pretty terrible when I told them what I had prepared for dinner!

I have had long red peppers from my CSA share piling up in the refrigerator – I decided it was time to make “red pepper pasta” again. When searching for my old favorite recipe, I came across this one on Pioneer Woman.com. It sounded so delicious I tried it instead. I doubled the recipe to use one pound of pasta, added basil, and substituted half & half for heavy cream. The sauce was silky and flavorful with beautiful color. GREAT!

  • 7 Long Red Peppers, or 6 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 whole¬†Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 4 cloves¬†Garlic, Minced
  • coarse salt
  • 1 cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream
  • Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Minced
  • Fresh Basil, Finely Minced, optional
  • Fresh Parmesan, Shaved Or Grated
  • 1 Pound Pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Rotini (I used whole wheat rotini)
  1. Roast red peppers, and then place in a glass bowl covered with saran wrap to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then remove the stems and seeds. Set aside.
  2. Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.
  3. Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, in a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt.
  6. Pour in half & half (or cream) and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.
  7. Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley, basil, and plenty of shaved Parmesan.
One Year Ago:

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers

My family was very skeptical when I said that I was making Red Beans and Rice for dinner (read: they were complaining).  This quick dish changed their minds!  It was delicious.

I did add extra bacon (because I had it on hand), which may have improved the flavor, but I don’t think that it was necessary. ¬†I used Trader Joe’s jarred roasted red peppers and fire roasted jalape√Īos instead of the Peppadew peppers and pickled jalape√Īo.

We ate it with brown Basmati rice. The recipe instructs¬†to top the beans with a mound of rice- ¬†I thought that it was more aesthetically pleasing¬†served over the rice. ¬†ūüôā This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine.

  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inner celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pickled jalape√Īo or jarred fire roasted jalape√Īos, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped Peppadew peppers or jarred roasted red peppers, plus more for garnish
  • two 15-ounce cans red kidney beans
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • rice, for serving (I used brown Basmati rice)
  • parsley, for garnish
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, celery, garlic, pickled jalape√Īo and 1/4 cup of peppers and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the beans with their liquid and the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 8 minutes. Season the beans with salt and pepper.
  5. Mound rice in each serving dish and ladle the beans over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley or more peppers, as desired, and serve right away.

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