Recently I saw Ina Garten on the Food Channel and she used corn tortillas to thicken a chicken tortilla soup. Brilliant! Not to mention the wonderful flavor the tortillas add to the soup. This soup is surprisingly light for how decadent it tastes! Make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. So good!
The first thing you need to do is roast the poblano peppers. This is a very simple process and a very necessary step for flavor in this soup/chowder.
Begin by broiling or grilling the peppers until they get charred and blistered. Remove from heat and put them into a bowl and cover tightly with foil and allow them to steam for about 20 minutes. This will make it easier to remove the skin.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, carefully remove the skins from the peppers. Do not rinse them, you’ll lose the “charred” flavor.
Lastly, remove the seeds and membrane. Chop coarsely. They’re ready for the chowder.
Roasted Poblano, Corn and Tortilla Chowder
6 roasted poblano peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped sweet onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between your fingers (will release the flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock, salt free preferably (you can add your own seasoning later, if you use stock with salt, adjust the addition of salt later in the recipe)
6 cups of sweet white corn (fresh or frozen)
4 cups 1% milk (or whatever you have)
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or bottled)
Tortilla chips coarsely crushed
Fresh lime wedge
1) Prepare the poblano peppers. Rinse the peppers and place under the broiler in the oven or on a hot grill. Cook until they’re nicely blistered. Put them into a bowl and cover with foil or a lid to steam. This will make the skins easier to remove. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skins, seeds and membrane. Coarsely chop and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
2) In a soup pot, add the olive oil and onions. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, rosemary, cumin and bay leaf. After about one minute, add the the stock, prepared peppers and corn. Bring to a low simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the milk and bring it up to a simmer again, do not boil. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Add the tortilla strips and stir often until the tortillas have completely dissolved. If you’d like it a little thicker, add additional tortilla. Stir in the lime juice. Garish with crushed crispy tortillas, chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. Makes about 12 one cup servings.