Tangy and tasty, but not too hot
Shishito peppers – with their bright flavor and subtle heat – can’t help standing out in this trio.
But corn and curry are no wallflowers – they harmonize beautifully and bring out the best in their pepper pal.
So curry up. Your dinner guests are waiting.
Recipe: Curried Corn and Shishito Soup
Shishito peppers come from East Asia (they’re particularly popular in Korea and Japan). Because their skin is quite thin, they’re usually served with the skin on (unlike Hatch chilies, for example, which usually have their skin removed after roasting).
Shishitos are popular on restaurant menus these days, especially as an appetizer (most chefs blister them in oil on the stovetop, then toss them with a heavy sprinkling of salt). But they also make a great ingredient in other dishes – like this one.
We use commercial curry powder in this soup, but it’s easy enough to make your own (see Notes). We also add cumin and turmeric because, well, curry.
Prep time for this recipe is about 15 minutes. Cooking time adds another 20 minutes or so.
This recipe serves 4 as a starter. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 1 medium onion (we prefer red, but you can substitute yellow)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil of choice)
- kosher salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon; see Notes)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ~4 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 3 cups chicken stock (or 4 if you want a soupier soup)
- ~8 ounces shishito peppers
- additional tablespoon of olive oil for sautéing the shishito peppers
- ~¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ to 1 cup cream (to taste; optional)
- juice from 1 lime
- garnish of additional chopped cilantro (optional)
- garnish of additional whole sautéd (aka blistered) shishito peppers (optional)
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of about ½ inch. Set aside.
- Peel the garlic and add it to a mini food processor. Peel the ginger, chop it roughly, and add it to the mini food processor. Whirl the food processor until the garlic and ginger are finely minced.
- Place a 4-quart cooking pot on medium stovetop heat. Add a tablespoon of oil, then add the chopped onion and salt to taste. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger mixture, then sauté for another minute. Add the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric, stirring them into the onion mixture. Add the corn and chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, wash and dry the shishito peppers. Cut off their stem ends, then cut the peppers into slices of about ½ inch. (You may want to leave several of the peppers whole if you plan to use some as garnish.) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, then add the sliced peppers. (We usually add more salt to taste at this stage, but you can wait until Step 7 if you prefer.) Sauté the peppers for about 10 minutes, until they begin to color. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the cilantro, then chop it roughly. After the soup has cooked for 15 minutes, add the cilantro, the sautéed shishito peppers, and the cream. Stir to combine, then simmer the soup for another 5 minutes.
- While the soup is finishing up, squeeze the lime juice.
- When you’re ready to serve, add the lime juice to the soup, stirring to combine. Taste the soup and add salt if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish, if you wish, with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and/or whole blistered shishito peppers.
- Cooking time for this soup isn’t exact. We recommend simmering it for at least 15 minutes to develop the flavor. But don’t go over about 30 to 40 minutes – the curry flavor tends to become flat if you cook it too long.
- Shishito peppers are not particularly hot – but do be aware that each batch of peppers seems to have a couple that are much hotter than the rest.
- If you can’t find shishito peppers, you could substitute green bell peppers or a mild green chile pepper, like Anaheim.
- Curry powder is a mix of spices that can include coriander, cumin, chile powder, turmeric, and other ingredients. Commercial curry powder was an 18th century British invention. We often make our own, but it’s convenient to have some prepared curry powder on hand for times when we’re feeling lazy. If you want to make your own, there are lots of recipes on the interwebs.
- You can substitute milk for the cream if you want. Or leave out the dairy and increase the amount of chicken stock.
- If you want to make this dish vegetarian, just substitute vegetable stock or water for chicken stock.
- Fancy extra flavor? You could add a sprinkling of crumbled feta or cotija cheese to each bowl before serving.
- Want to turn this dish into a main-course soup? Just increase the amount of chicken stock by a cup or two and add garbanzo beans (1 to 2 cans).
- If you want a spicier soup, add some chile powder or hot sauce. You could also add a jalapeño pepper (or two) to the mini food processor (Step 2) and mince it along with the garlic and ginger.
- We use kosher salt for cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the flakes are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If substituting table salt, start with about half the amount we recommend. But always salt to your taste, not ours.
“A-maizing soup,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.
“You’re just trying to curry favor,” I said.
“More like currying flavor,” said Mrs K R. “My tongue is as high as an elephant’s eye.”
“Corn fed and peppered up,” I said. “This dish is hot shishito.”
“You’re cornering the market on corny jokes,” said Mrs K R.
Aw, shucks. I guess there’s a kernel of truth in that.
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Asian-Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup
Corn, Zucchini, and Bean Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Curried Cauliflower and Chicken Soup
Moroccan Chickpea Soup (Harira)
Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup
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