It’s the hottest summer in DC since 1993! Each day I step out of my apartment into 90 degree heat and high humidity praying that I am not a gross mess by the time I make it to work. But once I get to work, it’s a different story. My office is an icebox. My office mate and I spend our days shivering and wrapping ourselves in blankets, sweatshirts and whatever we can get our hands on to warm up.
So that is why despite the temps outside, I decided to make a vat of soup for lunch last week. On Chow, I found this recipe for Chipotle Corn Soup. I figured it was a great way to take advantage of summer’s abundance of sweet corn, and the fact that it was on sale at my grocery store was an extra bonus!
There was just one problem with my plan, the recipe called for whole milk as the soup’s base, not exactly the healthiest choice. I decided to give swapping in low-fat buttermilk for the whole milk a try. Buttermilk is a great substitute as it’s still creamy and has a richness to it, just without the extra calories and fat!
To start you have to shuck all the corn and cut all the kernels from the corn cobs.
This isn’t a quick job, and your hands might hurt after it, but the commitment is worth it…I promise!
After you have the corn kernels all prepared, heat some light butter in a large pot. Once it starts foaming, toss in some chopped chipotles in adobo sauce and the scallions and let everything cook for about 3 minutes.
After the mixture has had time to cook together, add in the corn kernels, salt, buttermilk and water. Stir everything together and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Once your soup base is boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
While your soup is simmering, grab a fine mesh strainer and a large heat-proof bowl and set aside. Set-up your blender, removing the small cap in the middle which will allow the steam to escape and prevent the lid from popping off! (Which we know I have had problems with in the past!) Then get a kitchen towel to cover the blender top so you don’t spray your kitchen with soup.
Take your soup off the heat and using the blender puree in batches.
Once you have a nice consistency, pour your soup through the strainer into the large bowl. Using a spatula, press down on the strainer, getting all the soup you can out of the mixture and into the bowl. You will have “stuff” remaining in the strainer, which you can throw out.
Stir in the corn you set aside and serve your soup!
I was a little nervous about how this soup was going to turn out, since I was substituting a key ingredient, whole milk, for buttermilk. But I am happy to report that the soup still tasted great, and was much lighter and healthier! Using the buttermilk also gave the soup a great bite, which contrasted nicely with the spiciness of the chipotle. Serve this soup with a slice of bread if you are worried about the kick it has.
8 ears corn, husks removed
2 tbsps light butter
1 tsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
4 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts only)
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups water
Remove corn kernels from the cob using a paring knife and slicing downwards, into a large plastic Tupperware
Reserve 1/2 cup of the corn for later
In a large saucepan melt the butter until it’s foaming, then toss in the chipotle and scallions
Cook the mixture for about 3 minutes, until the scallions are soft
Add in the corn, salt, buttermilk and water
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes
Grab a strainer and a large bowl
Pour the soup in batches into your blender (remove the middle cap to vent the heat, and cover with a kitchen towel)
Puree the soup until a smooth consistency and strain into the large bowl
Using the spatula, press down on the strainer to get as much soup as possible out, discard the remaining solids
Stir in the reserved corn, and serve
Yields 4 servings