Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Dish of Unknown Providence: Green Chile Soup with Smoked Salmon

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It goes without saying that posts have been coming slow and without ceremony recently.

The thing is, the Pasta Burner and I are still in transit -- not the transit of sic transit gloria, mind you, but rather a steady and continual progress towards finishing the renovations on our lovely new home, a place where we hope our fortunes will only continue to get brighter with time.

As a result, however, there's been little time to cook; for that matter, there's been little kitchen to cook in.

[Editor's Note: Apologies for the blurry picture; the computer's built in camera is not exactly state-of-the-art.]

This being said, even with the long hours, we're still finding ways to spend a few minutes, here and there, standing over the stove. Living on the fly like this, you end up buying a few odds and ends here, ingredients for future meals, and give them little thought. Produce is purchased but soon forgotten, and before you know it, there's some aging peppers, a can of coconut milk, a chunk of onion, and half a package of smoked salmon staring at you.

Did someone say soup? Let's get right to it.

Green Chile Soup with Smoked Salmon
Serves Four

Vegetable Oil (for sauteeing)

1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 inch Ginger Root, minced

3 small Zucchini
2 Chipotle Peppers
1 Jalapeño Pepper
2 Leeks
1/2 large Red Onion

1 Tablespoon Butter
One 32 oz. box Chicken Broth
One 13.5 oz. can Coconut Milk

4 oz. Smoked Salmon

Assemble your ingredients.

Begin by roasting your chipotle peppers over an open flame. Char all sides well, then plunge the roasted veggies into cold water to ease the removal of skin.

Once you have removed the skin from the peppers, chop them, and the rest of the vegetables up.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the minced garlic and ginger. Saute them until they are aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add in the chopped vegetables, and, stirring constantly, cook for an additional five minutes.

Add your coconut milk, chicken broth, and butter to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, and let the contents of the pot come to a slow simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, or food processor...) puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. I like to leave a little texture, but do as you please. Taste, and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, and serve with slivers of smoked salmon. I had some fennel fronds lying around, so I used them as well. The final product:

As you can see, this is a soup that has no pretensions towards legitimacy or authenticity. But it is fairly healthy, quite delicious, and a good way to use up the first of the year's squash harvest. Give it a whirl, won't you?

We'll return soon, with a slightly more intact kitchen and some new recipes for you to try. See you then!

Music: Talking Heads -- "This Must Be The Place"

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