Monday, July 12, 2010
I’ve been holding onto this recipe for Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder since I cut it out of my Cooking Light magazine last summer. They don’t technically call it a “grilled soup,” but they call for it to be grilled, and I like the way it sounds, don’t you? Between the combination of vegetables and the unique technique, the recipe had no chance of remaining unscathed; I took my scissors to its corners and tucked it away in my book of recipes to try. It might have taken a year, but I finally got to test it out over the weekend.
Soup is liquid gratification. It’s good for the body and for the soul; it has the power to heal when you are at your weakest, and the substance to fill you up and raise your sprits when you’re feeling just fine. It’s the poor man’s sustenance and the rich man’s decadent first course. Its broth can warm you to your bones during the winter, and can even be refreshing in the summer. When it comes to soup, there are no real rules in the kitchen or at the table; once all of the ingredients simmer and develop, a chorus of slurping diners is considered more of a compliment than an indecency.
This soup was as simple and tasty as I'd imagined it would be. With a minimal number of components, it literally goes from the grill, to the pot, to the blender, and into your mouth in no time. And although not served cold, it’s got “summer” written all over it. Slightly charring the peppers, corn, and tomatoes on the grill, helps to incorporate a smoky flavor to the soup that actually enhances the sweetness in all of the ingredients. The creamy consistency and piquant bite of the feta cheese offsets the warm, fragrant puree and completes the dish. Grilled soup—who knew?
PS. My blog post, "Stick That In Your Pepper And Eat It" was selected by foodbuzz.com for their daily Top 9 today! Thank you Foodbuzz!
Roasted Corn, Pepper, & Tomato, “Grilled” Soup with Feta Cheese:
Yield: 5-6 servings
- 3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 3 ears corn, shucked
- 4 large tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups onion, chopped
- 1 ½ quarts chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbs Chopped fresh chives or scallions
• Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
• Arrange bell peppers, skin side down, and corn on grill. Grill for about 5 minutes, turning the corn occasionally. Add tomatoes and grill for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly charred. After removing the tomato from the grill, the skin should easily peel off.
• Coarsely chop the tomatoes and grilled red peppers and place in a bowl. Cut the kernels from the ears of corn; add to tomato mixture.
• Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large, deep pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato mixture; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high and stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Allow to cool slightly.
• Ladle soup into a blender and puree. Pour the puree through a sieve, over a clean pot. Make sure to press all of the liquid through the sieve. If your soup has a slightly grainy texture, you may need to repeat this process once more.
• Place the pot of pureed soup over a medium flame and heat thouroughly.Season with salt and pepper.
• Garnish each bowl of soup with feta cheese and chopped chives/scallions; serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder, Cooking Light, June 2009