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