mike kostyo

I know food.

corn and banana pepper soup

Tonight we're having fake Halloween at our apartment, because even fake Halloween is better than regular August. We didn't plan it this way (fake Halloween next Monday!), but first I was watching Addam's Family Values on Home Box Office and then Lifetime Movie Network is taking a break from playing movies about how all the men are out to kill and rape all the women I guess because I was flipping through the Tivo guide (name dropping) and now they are playing Hocus Pocus, so now there is a tobacco-scented candle burning and we are drinking apple cider and eating ice cream with a ridiculous amount of black sprinkles. Kind of just like Halloween!

We're back to the recipes! For those of you who read my posts about the culinary classes - thanks for reading! For those of you who were just waiting to get back to the recipes, here we are!

Were you just biding your time watching Dance Moms? Hahahaha. They keep playing commercials for this show that I guess is about some dance school, because they got up really early to get a good spot in line on the day they were passing out the reality shows, and how the people on the show are crazy? The commercial for the episode they keep playing is about how some minister lady keeps crashing the dance school but the dance lady says she's a thief or something and she needs to learn commandments and she has 911 on speed dial and other things she read in the book of phrases to use on a reality show. It's all for the children, I'm sure. It looks great! Global warming can't come fast enough.

Also, it seems that that's enough of a break between shows about guys who start out nice but turn out mean and want to kill the leading lady who is from a show that used to be popular in the 90s, because after Hocus Pocus is a movie called The House Next Door starring Lara Flynn Boyle. I should have put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. How did I forget? Guess who is in the house next door? A guy who wants to kill Lara Flynn Boyle! Surprise! Also, Glade has figured out how to pour some scented wax into a glass jar and then pour ANOTHER KIND of wax on top of that.

Anyway, this recipe is kind of like summer because corn is in the summer but also it's kind of in the fall because soup is fall and cornstalks and all of that. So you can eat this now, because technically it's still summer I guess, ugh, but you can also eat it for fake autumn that you are probably celebrating I'm sure. This soup is all about the fresh corn and peppers - the ingredients aren't masked by cheese, cream, etc. Which also means it's not full of fat and calories either, if that's something that worries you. Also, because you are probably going to get a differing amount of corn and peppers depending on the number and size you have on hand, you will have to add more of the stock and milk until it's the right consistency.

So I will just take a break from this very normal way to spend a Monday night to give you this recipe. Enjoy!

corn and banana pepper soup

+ 6-8 ears of corn
+ 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
+ 3-4 banana peppers, chopped into small dice
+ 2 cloves garlic, chopped
+ 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped 
+ 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
+ 2 cups skim milk
+ 1 tablespoon turmeric
+ 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
+ salt and pepper to taste 

Shuck the corn, detassle them and cut the kernels from the cob. Set the kernels aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the peppers to the oil and sauté until just cooked but still slightly crunchy, about 3 minutes. Remove the peppers and set aside. 

Add the corn to the pan and saute, stirring occasionally, until just browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Heat over medium-low heat and add the garlic and onion to the pan. Cook until the onion is just translucent, but not browned, about 3-5 minutes.

Set aside one cup each of the peppers and the corn. Add the remainder of the peppers and corn to the pan and continue sauteeing. Add 1 1/2 cups of the stock and 1 1/2 cups of the skim milk and bring to a low simmer.

Using an immersion or stand blender, blend the soup until creamy. It's fine if the soup is not completely smooth. 

Bring the soup back to a low simmer in the saucepan. Add enough of the remaining stock and milk to achieve the consistency you want. The soup should be thick enough for the remaining corn and peppers to stay suspended. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of turmeric. Set aside just enough of the remaining corn and pepper for garnish and stir the rest into the soup. Stir in the basil and remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining corn and peppers.

serves 4-6