- 1 large jalapeño
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 Vidalia onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups frozen corn kernels or 1 pound fresh corn kernels
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 8 frozen plum tomato halves, coarsely chopped, or 4 fresh plum tomatoes—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Roast the jalapeño on a skewer directly over a gas flame or in a pan under the broiler, turning, until charred all over. Transfer the jalapeño to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel, core, seed and finely chop the jalapeño. In a small bowl, combine the jalapeño with the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the corn and garlic and cook, stirring, until the corn is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the corn to a blender, add the crème fraîche and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return the puree to the soup.
- Add the tomatoes, scallion and 1 tablespoon of cilantro to the soup and cook until heated through. Ladle the soup into 4 shallow bowls, garnish with cilantro, the jalapeño and a drizzle of the chile vinegar. Serve hot.
The soup can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before proceeding.
Sweet, succulent corn has a particular affinity for a creamy-textured Chardonnay. Pick a lighter example, such as one from Oregon or Washington State.