Green Chili and Corn Soup

Green Chili and Corn Soup
Rate it!

green chili and corn soup
A nice lunch.

We’re trying to embrace the green chili pepper. We get them quite often in our CSA shares during the summer; they grow well and seem to have a long season. Then, after the green chilies have moved on, it’s time for the dried chilies. Those we know how to use: make harissa, that blistering hot Northern African condiment. But, for green chilies, we’re sometimes at a loss.

To try to correct that, and embrace the green chili, we’re trying a few dishes that we’re just making up, based mainly on what we have available in the house, and what flavors we think work together. First up is our green chili and corn soup. It’s a straightforward dish, one that takes about an hour from start to finish, and it’s a 100% Scratchin’ original recipe.

Green Chili and Corn Soup

Yield: 2 servings

Green Chili and Corn Soup


  • 1 green chili
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, sliced finely
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Form a small pan from a piece of aluminum foil (or use a foil pan you have on hand). Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the chili to let steam escape. Place chili and corn on top and place under the broiler. Check often and turn both the corn and pepper as they char and blacken. Once charred and blistered on all sides, place chili in a paper bag and set aside to cool completely. Set corn aside to cool.

Peel skin from chili, cut off the top and slice open, removing seeds and membrane. Dice chili into 1/2x1/2 inch pieces. Taste, and, depending on spiciness, decide how much roasted chili you'll use in the soup and set aside. Wrap the remainder for another use.

Cut kernels from corn. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and scallions and cook until green tops just begin to brown. Add potato, and sauté for a few minutes. Add broth, corn, and green chillies. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add paprika and oregano. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ingredient discussion:

You’ll note that, in the pictures below, we roast up multiple chilies. That’s only because we had multiple, so we thought we’d strike while the oven was hot. Our chilies were quite spicy, so we ended up using only about a tablespoon. It was plenty. Your chilies will be different; that’s why you need to taste a bit and decide the amount you want. We used I’itoi onions, but we doubt that you’ll get those, so we suggest scallions or green onions, instead.

Procedure in detail:

chilies and corn
We make up a small disposable foil pan from a piece of aluminum foil for broiling vegetables.
chilies in a paper bag
Closing the chilies in a paper bag allows them to steam a bit more and the skins will just slip off.

Roast chili and corn. We always make a small pan from a piece of aluminum foil when we’re going to roast something like chilies. That way, if it gets blackened and burned, we just toss it rather than scrubbing out a baking pan (you could also use a disposable foil pan you have on hand). Before broiling, cut a slit in the green chili with a sharp knife, then place on your pan, along with the ear of corn, and put everything under the broiler. Broil, turning the chili and corn as needed until all sides are blackened. Place the chili in a paper bag to hold in some steam, folding it to close, and let cool completely. Let the corn cool completely, too.

peeling green chilies
See how the skin just slips off. Easy.

Prepare chili. Remove the chili from the bag and peel off the skin. It should just slip right off, but, if some is being stubborn, peel it off with a sharp knife. Cut off the top of the chili and slice it open. Scrape away the seeds and the membranes, as these can be very spicy. Dice the chili into pieces that are about 1/2 inch on a side, and taste a bit. Based on how spicy the chili is, and your tolerance for spice, decide on how much chili you want in the soup and set it aside. Wrap the remaining chili and keep in the refrigerator or freezer  for another use.

kernels of roasted corn
There is no good way to cut the kernels off an ear of corn; they always tend to scatter.

Prepare corn. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the ear of corn and set them aside. It’ll be a bit more difficult with the cooked ear, but you can do it.

Sauté onions. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the green tops begin to brown. This, like charring the corn and the chili, will add a subtle smokiness to your finished soup.

Sauté potatoes. Once the onions are starting to brown, add the potatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. We find that this “seals” the potatoes and helps keep them from breaking apart in the soup.

cooking soup
Let the soup simmer until the potatoes are tender. We just scoop one out and taste it.

Simmer soup. Add the corn, broth, and chillies. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

seasoning soup
We wanted more smokiness, so we added smoked paprika.

Season. Stir in the smoked paprika and oregano, simmer another minute or two, then taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

Whew! Our soup was spicy. Even with only about a tablespoon of green chili in the soup, you could feel the burn. We were originally going to add more, but, after tasting them, really cut back the amount. Even though it was spicy hot, the soup made for a great lunch, along with a bowl of fruit. Four stars, because of the additional effort for roasting and cleaning the green chili and corn

Worth the trouble?

One Reply to “Green Chili and Corn Soup”

  1. Lucky you to be blessed with spicy green chilies. Even the Hatch chilies I find labelled as “hot” often seem of modest Scoville. I find that blackening them directly in the flame of the side-burner of the outdoor grill is especially effective*, but slow smoking them adds a nice flavor element (albeit at some compromise to removing 100% of the skin). Where do they go? Green posole is a favorite at our house. So, my scratching would include white hominy, masa flour or tortillas, cilantro, tomatillo, etc. After that, there is always salsa, which we’re not too proud to freeze if necessary and, incidentally, find that doing so and adding a bit of sugar can cut the burn of an especially hot batch.

    * Tradition is to turn them bare-handed using the stems and apologize to your fingers later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *