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The versatile thing about corn is how many ways you can eat. Raw off the cob, if you are of that mind. Roasted or toasted. Slathered with butter. Baked into muffins or cornbread. Or, served deep and rich in soups and chowders. The marriage of poblano and corn is a religious experience. As summer winds down, don’t miss the chance.

The Daily Soup was a New York institution, one of those soup chains that start, soar, and then sadly crash. There is only one Daily Soup shop in Manhattan these days. But the cookbook, published in 1999, survives and is a tribute to those original soup pioneers.

Corn seems to have a natural mate in chilies. This soup, made with both poblano and chipotle, does have some heat, but no extravagant fire. It’s a lovely soup that can make your summer meals a delight. Actually, this soup has enough character to be a main dish. Just pair off with a salad and perhaps some biscuits and you have a wonderful supper spread.

There’s a surprise soup ingredient here: feta cheese. And, if you go the biscuit route, you can add something extra in them too: green chiles, bacon, ham bits, or … Well, let your imagination soar.

The authors do have one major variation for you. Leave the poblanos out and put in a pound of lump crab [after pureeing one quarter of the chowder in step 6].


Poblano Corn Chowder

Yield: 12 cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced from the cob and cobs reserved, about 4 cups
  • 10 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 poblano chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, minced
  • chipotle chile in adobo with ½ teaspoon sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican or regular dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2cups grated Queso Blanco or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

1. Combine the corn cobs and vegetable stock in a large stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cobs with a slotted spoon and discard. Reserve 6 cups of the stock and set aside until ready to use.

2. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, 2 of the garlic cloves, and poblano chilies and sweat for 4 minutes, until tender.

3. Add the dried chipotle, chipotle in adobo with sauce, oregano, bay leaves, and salt and stir to coat the vegetables.

4. Add the corn stock, corn, and potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add the cheeses and heavy cream and simmer until the cheese melts.

6. Remove the bay leaves and puree about one quarter of the chowder in a blender or food processor until smooth.

7. Return the puree to the pot and mix well.

8. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining garlic clove and chopped cilantro.

9. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Source: The Daily Soup Cookbook by Leslie Kaut et al [Hyperion 1999]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/30th second at ISO‑500