This soup is a dream come true. It’s Cassia‘s recipe, and we made it for the cooking class ladies last Friday before they arrived. There was going to be enough for them to do with butterflying naked chickens and chopping pounds upon pounds of brussel sprouts without adding this soup to the tasklist.
The sweet flavor of the red peppers with the depth of the onions and garlic—oooooh. Aaaaah. It’s creamy, light, and perfect in every way.
And as I discovered by accident, it’s delicious cold! Its light sweetness is reminiscent of gazpacho, and I can’t wait to serve it chilled during the summer.
8 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
½ cup sweet corn
2 TBS butter
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ TBS cornstarch, mixed with 2 TBS water
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
½ lime, juiced
1 TBS cilantro
First things first: crank up the broiler in your oven.
Now grab those peppers and give them a nice wash. By the way, we tripled the recipe, so if it looks like we’re using waaaaay more ingredients than I listed here, it’s because we did.
Slice the peppers in half lengthwise (removing the stems and seeds) . . .
. . . and arrange them on a roasting pan with the skin sides facing up. No need to oil or season them.
Broil those sweet red darlings until the outside skin is black and crispy. This took us about 20 minutes, but the timing will vary depending on the power of your broiler and the proximity of your peppers to the element/flame. So keep an eye!
Oh my gosh! I said that just like my Mom. She says ‘poifect’ too–what is the world coming to? I think I’m becoming my mother.
Cassia’s method for de-skinning these little beauties involves placing the peppers in paper bags . . .
. . . and putting them in the freezer for a while–maybe 10 minutes? I wasn’t counting.
This cools them quickly so that the skin can be removed asap. However, I’ve also heard you can put them in a ziploc bag and seal it for a couple minutes to help things along. Either way, the skin must go.
Here’s a plate of naked peppers. Please avert your eyes.
Here’s a pile of red pepper guts. Please avert your eyes again.
And that’s the end of the PG-13 material! All pictures are family friendly from here on out.
Since the broiler is still going strong, spread the corn (fully drained!) on a roasting sheet:
Broil it for a few minutes, until the kernels are starting to blacken.
Put it into a bowl–this is going to be one of our two lovely garnishes.
Now it’s time to dice the onion and garlic:
Don’t worry about making it pretty or uniform since it’s all going to be blended anyway.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt the butter over medium low heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until soft (about 5 minutes).
While that’s cooking, roughly chop up the roasted bell peppers–they will feel a little slimy.
But also kind of cool. If you think slimy = cool, that is.
Add the tomato paste to the onions and garlic, and cook for another few minutes to take the can-like edge off the paste and give the whole shebang some extra depth of flavor.
Add the peppers to the pot and cook for a minute or two longer.
Now it’s time to pour in the chicken stock.
Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat down to low; cover and simmer it for 10 minutes.
While it’s simmering, let’s assemble the lime cilantro sour cream. Mince up some cilantro nice and fine:
Squeeze the lime juice into the sour cream, and whisk until smooth.
Add the cilantro and whisk a little more (by the way, you should really use a whisk instead of a spoon–it helps give it a creamy and silky texture).
Give it a taste and add more lime juice to taste, then refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve the soup.
And back to the soup! It’s time to add the cream:
And the 1/2 cup of cilantro:
And some salt and pepper to taste:
And some cornstarch (mixed with a little water to form a slurry). Please take a horrible picture of this step, just to make me feel better.
Simmer the soup for about 5 more minutes to thicken it a little more. Then, grab an immersion blender and blend the soup up until it’s uniform and creamy.
You can also do this in a blender (in batches), but I really don’t want you to burn or hurt yourself, so please be careful it you do it this way!
Time to eat! Serve the soup with dollops of cilantro lime sour cream and a sprinkling of roasted corn on top.
If you’re into wine pairings, this is the wine Cassia selected to accompany the soup:
Take me home to glory, baby. This is heaven.
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