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.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
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
Or check out the index for more
This soup sounds amazing!
One of my local farmers market vendors sometimes has shishitso peppers - I hope she does this weekend, because I want to make this soup!
Your recipe looks great as it stands, but cries out for lots of variation -- going vegan, going chicken, going hot hot hot, going mild... I once did a great corn soup with saffron, which could be another variation here. Fun!
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Eeka, I hope you can find these peppers this weekend, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Mae, you're right that there are loads of ways you can vary this soup. Recipes with good, basic flavor do tend to be pretty versatile, don't they? Thanks for the comment.
Oh yum! This soup has all the goodies. Smooth, creamy, comforting with a little added spice. You never know when you might catch that 1 out 10 for the spice. LOL We have a huge bag of shishito peppers from the market. Can't wait to try this.
Hi Bobbi, you DO get a couple of rather hot peppers in each batch, don't you? :-) Most are really mild, though. Thanks for the comment.
I adore Shishito peppers, but have never thought of using them in corn soup.It surely looks very tasty and moreish.
Hi Angie, the flavor of the peppers really works with corn. And curry. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have never tried those peppers ,but I am sure I would love that meal, so full of flavours☺
Hi Natalia, the peppers are really good. Worth seeking out. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love love love - actually adore this idea!
What a splendid idea to use shishito peppers in a soup John. The larger ones are often hotter than the smaller ones, at least that’s my observation.
Hi Lea Ann, isn't this a fun dish? Tasty, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gerlinde, I hadn't noticed that, but usually most of them are fairly uniform in size. Have to start getting different sizes to I can test that! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have never heard of or seen shisito peppers for sale. Are they a moderate temperature? This is a very pretty and satisfying soup, corn is a grest choice.
Wow, you have some great flavors going on here. This is comfort food at it's finest. Now you have me craving this soup
Hi Merryn, most shishitos are pretty mild, but in each batch there are a few which can be rather spicy. You kind of play pepper roulette. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pat and Dahn, this is really good stuff -- make it once, you'll make it again. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Interesting soup I'll try. Have not heard of shishito peppers hereabouts but many here would fit your description. Generic curry powder certainly is not acceptable in most of the 23 countries in which variations of the dish are base recipes but I have about a dozen kinds at home when such is used in a fusion recipe just: which land/region does the one you use come from as they are so very different: India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia etc . . . am just wondering because of the extra cumin and turmeric . . . . looks lovely . . .
Hi Eha, we love cumin and turmeric and when we blend our own curry powder (curry-like powder, I guess -- not specific to any region; just a flavor profile we like) we always add extra. Hence the reason we add extra to this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Three cheers for fortifying curry powder with more spices! But I have never thought to pair curry and fresh peppers. Can't wait to try that combo!
Just pinned it so I can make it next week. I've been craving a curried dish so with the fresh shishitos and locally grown sweet corn, I'm all over this one. Thanks John!
Hi Laura, curry and peppers are wonderful together. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi MJ, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.
lots of fabulous flavours here KR. we don't have shishito peppers (I think) but obviously you could sub whatever is appropriate. yum! cheers S
Curry and corn is one of my favorite culinary combinations, and my husband eats shishito peppers by the dozen. Seems like a good one for us! Beautiful, too. ~Valentina
Oh my god. What fabulous flavors. Shishitos are incredible, although they may not ever make it to where I live. but the ginger, curry, cumin, turmeric flavors with the corn and chile peppers? Outstanding.
I have never seen a shishito peppers. The soup sounds and looks so luscious.
Hi Sherry, you absolutely could use any mild (or hot, if that's your preference) green pepper in this dish. It's the combo of flavors that's the thing going on here. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Valentina, we eat shishito peppers by the dozen, too. Love 'em! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Mimi, we don't always have shishitos in our market, but typically do from late spring through early fall. This really is a neat combo of flavors. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Balvinder, sounds like shishito peppers are a less common than I thought! But any mild pepper would work in this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love that you added shishito peppers to this soup. It looks and sounds tasty!
Hi Pam, the peppers are a fun addition to this soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, yup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
When I first discovered shishito peppers blistered was the way to go. As I get to know them I love finding new ways to eat more of them. GREG
Hi Greg, blistered shishito peppers are wonderful, and it's how we most often eat them. But they have other uses -- in soup, for example. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh my goodness! I love these flavors but haven't had them together yet -- gotta try it! :)
Hi Judy, it's really a nice flavor combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.
If corn soup is already delicious, adding a touch of spiciness makes it irresistible. Love your soup!
Hi Denise, spicy is good. This is pretty mild, but still has some heat to it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The corn is SO good this time of year so this is perfect timing! I'm eating it any chance I get. Love the flavors of this soup.
I love that shishito peppers are getting easier to find. Fantastic recipe, John — tons of flavor and perfect for the season!
Hi Ashley, we love fresh corn! Good thing frozen corn is almost as good -- our corn season is now over, alas -- so we can make this soup with that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi David, it's only in the last couple of years that we started seeing shishitos on a regular basis in our supermarket. Glad of that, because they're so much fun to use! And eat, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Such a deep color of yellow for this soup- looks great! Not too easy to find shishito peppers, but I'll keep trying!
Hi Fran, really any pepper that you like would work in this. Although shishitos have such nice flavor! Thanks for the comment.
What a fun way to use shishitos. I admit I usually just saute them with salt and olive oil, and nosh on them out of hand. I'll have to restrain myself to save a few for a garnish like this next time. ;)
Hi Carolyn, we usually eat them the same way! But they're nice in soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This curry soup with corn and shishito looks so tasty John...I am loving everything that is in this soup...I will definitely give this a try once the weather starts to cool down...thanks for the recipe.
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Hi Juliana, the flavor of this is amazing! Really, really like it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love shishitos! This sounds like a delicious use of them.
Hi Lisa, aren't shishitos wonderful? Amazing flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I think I'll make this for the weekend. And I'm not being corny. I adore these two veggies. And I love finding ways to use curry!
Hi Abbe, this is really terrific soup. Easy, too -- always a good thing. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Shishitos are the thing lately, aren't they? I'll have to keep my eye open for them.
Hi Jeff, shishitos are definitely the thing! They're not always in our store, but when they are we buy them. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Loving this soup, John! Peppers and corn were made for each other! So many great flavors in this soup!
Hi Kelly, isn't this a fun combo? Really good soup! Think we'll make it again this weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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