Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Roasted Corn and Tomato Soup

This week I am back in the kitchen full swing and it feels great! Even before I went on vacation I had a stack of recipes lined up to try and in my last two weeks off of school I intend to make as many as I can. Although some of them have been sitting around for a while others, such as the one for this soup, I came across more recently but decided to try out first.

The reason why I wanted to make this soup was because corn is very much in season right now and I haven't made soup for a long time. The recipe also looked super simple and I was able to whip up the soup in slightly over half an hour. Once again I used my hand blender, given to me as a birthday gift from my parents, and I loved how it transformed both the soup and the cook time into magic. Interestingly enough, because the corn pieces were so small, it actually made the soup kind of chunky because not all of the corn was caught in the blade. I think this actually added a nice textural component to the soup rather than it being a puree.

To separate the corn from the husks I used a cool trick that my brother showed me on the internet. The idea is to place the corn into the center of a bundt pan, where the hole is, and then cut away at the sides. The pan acts as a bowl and collects the kernels as they fall. Of course if you don't own a bundt pan the same effect can be achieved by placing a small bowl upside down inside of a large bowl and resting the corn on top of the surface of the smaller bowl.

The soup itself tasted quite sweet, obviously a result of the corn being sweet. The flavor of the corn was definitely prominent and I enjoyed it, as did my mom and brother. A couple of days prior I had actually tried a recipe for something called "baked cous cous poppers". The "poppers" didn't turn out as well as I would have liked; they were slightly bland. However my mom and I came up with the idea to put them in the soup and they acted as little meatballs, only made of cous cous instead. It was great because the soup added flavor to the poppers while the poppers added texture to the soup...a win-win combination.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Soup
  • 4 cups corn (about 6 cobs)
  • 8 roma tomatoes, halved and insides hulled out
  • 4 bell peppers, halved and de-seeded
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cups (2 L) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Optional: red chili flakes
  1. Lightly drizzle the corn, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Toss to coat evenly the spread in a flat and even layer across a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes become wrinkled. Remove from the oven and peel away the skins from the tomatoes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot saute the onion over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes translucent.
  4. Once the vegetables have roasted, add them and all their juices to the pot. Add the smoked paprika, chili powder, and red chili flakes (if using) and mix well to incorporate.
  5. Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Use an immersion blender or transfer the soup in batches to a stand blender to puree until smooth (though chunks may remain). Season with salt and pepper and some lemon juice if desired.

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