I love soup. When the weather starts to cool down I immediately start thinking about what soup I feel like making. Sometimes I just throw everything left over in the refrigerator in a pot with water, add a little of this and that and call it a meal. Other times I stick to a recipe.
I found this recipe years ago in an old issue of Bon Appetit. This corn chowder has become one of my go-to recipes when I want to make something special. It's a nice blend of flavors with just the right amount of spiciness.
POBLANO CORN CHOWDER WITH SHRIMP
INGREDIENTS: 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced 2 large poblano chilies,* seeded, chopped 2 14 3/4- to 15-ounce cans cream-style corn 1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed 2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth 1 cup whipping cream 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
PREPARATION: Mix 2 tablespoons butter and flour in small bowl to blend; set aside.
Finely chop onion and celery in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion-celery mixture and chilies; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add creamed corn and next 5 ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Add shrimp and 4 tablespoons cilantro; simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.
Yield: 12 first-course servings, or 6 main-course servings
* Fresh poblano chilies, often called pasillas; available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets.
* For a nice variation, substitute chipotle chili powder for the cayenne pepper.
* I've made it without the cream, to reduce the calories, and without the shrimp for my vegeratian friends. It was great both ways.