This is a great stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup because the cornmeal gives it the thick consistency of porridge. It’s a meal in itself when served with soft corn tortillas and sliced avocado on the side. Roasted poblano chiles have a deep, dark, smoky flavor—the spicy kick will keep you warm on a chilly night by the campfire. Roast the corn yourself instead of buying it frozen if you’re so inclined. The corn is sweet, so I tend to add more salt than is called for in the recipe, but I leave that to you.
1 large white onion
4 large poblano chiles
1 pound (or 1 16 oz package) frozen roasted corn kernels, thawed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
2 teaspoons red chile powder
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons cornmeal
juice of 1 lime
queso fresco and chopped cilantro, for garnish
To roast the poblanos
There are a couple of ways to roast green chiles—under the broiler or on a gas burner directly over the flames. We prefer cooking them on the burner, turning them over with tongs until they are charred and blistered all over. The smoky aroma that fills the kitchen will put you in mind of camping before you ever leave home.
To make the soup
- Roast the chiles until the skin is blackened. Transfer them into a glass bowl and cover with cling wrap to let them steam for about 15 minutes. Once they’re cool, peel off the charred skin, remove the stems and seeds.
- Rough chop the chiles, and set aside. Cut the onion into 1/4-inch slices.
- In a pre-heated cast-iron skillet, cook the onion slices on medium-high heat until they are charred on both sides. Add half the corn, the onion, and 2 cups of vegetable broth in a blender, and purée until smooth.
- Transfer the purée to a stock pot. Add the remaining corn, 2 cups of vegetable broth, poblano chiles, salt, cumin, coriander, dried cilantro, red chile powder, vinegar, and cornmeal.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the juice of 1 lime.
- Let cool completely before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months before camping.
- If the soup needs to be defrosted, place it in a sealed, ziplock bag and submerge in cold water until completely thawed. Cook immediately.
- Meanwhile, warm up the corn tortillas in foil packets on the campfire, or on a gas stove.
- Garnish with queso fresco, chopped cilantro, and lime if desired. Serve with avocado slices.
- Use any leftovers for HUEVOS RANCHEROS as a replacement for beans or salsa.