Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sriracha Corn Chowder

This soup originally called for fire roasted corn, but it isn't exactly corn season, so we stuck with frozen corn instead.  With a little Google research, I opted for pan roasting the kernels instead and that did the trick.  The makers of Sriracha sauce have been in the news recently, but that hasn't stopped KK and I from using it.  We opened a new bottle for this recipe, but I think it’s safe to say that it’ll last until the so-called Sriracha shortage ends.  My recipes frequently call for small quantities (teaspoons here and there) of Sriracha sauce, but this is the first time that it’s been one of the major ingredients in a meal.  Since we usually like spicy food, I wasn't overly concerned about the level of spiciness.  In fact, the contrast between the spicy Sriracha sauce and the sweet corn in the soup was pleasantly surprising.  With that being said – be warned – if you can’t handle spiciness, then this soup isn’t for you.  We both enjoyed this soup (I even had it for lunch the next day), but neither one of us topped our bowls with extra sauce, a testament to how spicy it really was!

Sriracha Corn Chowder
Adapted from The Sriracha Cookbook
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6

4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 lb. frozen corn, thawed and divided
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
½ cup Sriracha sauce
½ tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup light cream
Salt and black pepper
Smoked paprika, for garnish

1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook 1 cup of corn in the skillet, stirring occasionally until kernels begin to blacken, about 20 minutes.  Plate and set aside.

2. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or stock pot.  Add peppers and onions, cooking 5-7 minutes until slightly softened.  Add remaining 1 cup thawed corn and garlic, cook an additional 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.  Add vegetable stock, Sriracha sauce, thyme, and bay leaves.  Increase heat to high and boil mixture, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 45 minutes.

3.  After the soup cooks for 40 minutes: pour cream into the same skillet used for the corn, and heat over low for 5 minutes; cream should be just below a simmer.

4. Remove bay leaves and puree the soup with an immersion blender.  A food processor or blender can be used as well, but take caution when transferring the hot liquids to and from the Dutch oven.

5. Mix in warm cream and reserved roasted corn.  Cook an additional 5 minutes, until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper; sever immediately, garnished with smoked paprika and additional Sriracha if you can handle the heat!

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