Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweet Corn Bisque with Poblanos

A few days ago I showed off my haul of poblanos from the farmer's market, and said I was thinking of cream of poblano soup.  I wandered around the web looking at recipes (poblano vichyssoise, anyone?), briefly considered just adding some roasted poblanos to the cheezy potato soup from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,  and finally decided to veganize a recipe from a book I found at the library, Southwest Flavors:  Santa Fe School of Cooking, that I checked out as part of my ongoing love affair with Mexican and New Mexican cuisine.

This is a beautiful book, with lots of pictures, and good information about green chile and other traditional New Mexican ingredients, but it is not a vegan-friendly book.  Almost all the entrees are meat-based, and the few that aren't are heavily dependent on cheese. I marked just a few recipes that were vegan or sounded veganizable (the only actual vegan recipes are for salad and things like salsa), this sweet corn bisque being one of them:

1 T oil (I used less)
1 cup diced yellow onion
3/4 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup New Mexico green chile, hot or medium, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped (I substituted roasted poblanos here)
4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 baking potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I actually used water and some of this Chick'n Style Seasoning powder, because I had some in the pantry and was convinced nooch would be good in this soup, even though the original recipe didn't call for cheese)
1 cup heavy cream Trader Joe's soy creamer (I actually ended up using most of a pint container)
Salt (I think I left this out because there's salt in the chick'n powder)

Saute onion, celery, and garlic.  Add everything  else except the soy creamer and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.  Puree the soup with your ever-loving immersion blender.  Stir in the soy creamer.  Put some soup in a nicely contrasting bowl.

Verdict:  rich and delicious but HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT!  I thought a cup of chile sounded like a lot, and I made the mistake of trusting the recipe instead of my instincts.  I barely made it through my bowl with the help of several corn tortillas; my girlfriend couldn't finish hers.  I decided I had to try to fix the soup, so I cooked 2 more big potatoes and almost 2 pounds of frozen corn in some more chick'n broth, then added it to the original soup and pureed again.  So now we have a huge container of soup, which  is still spicy but is much less of a challenge to eat.

So the moral of the story is, try this soup, but maybe start with 1/4 cup of peppers and increase the amount from there if it isn't spicy enough for your liking.

The kitten thought the soup tasted great when it was still way too spicy for us.  He is so weird.

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