Statesville residents Ron Szymanski and his wife order the corn soup every time they dine at The Prickly Pear in Mooresville. In his request, Ron raved about the wonderful food and great service.
After hearing such glowing compliments, owner Val Panizzut was happy to share the recipe with his loyal customers. Personally, I was thrilled to have a recipe that takes advantage of the abundance of delicious, end-of-summer sweet corn.
The soup is simple but extremely flavorful with its combination of corn and roasted poblano peppers. To roast the poblanos, rub whole peppers with a little olive oil and place them onto a baking sheet. Heat under a broiler until charred, 3-5 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Rub off skins. The peppers can vary greatly in spiciness. Taste them before adding to the soup and adjust accordingly.
One thing to mention is that I had to use a lot of elbow grease to push the puree through a strainer. Be sure to use a mesh that isn’t extremely fine. Pannizut said a food mill would be a good option, or you can skip this step for a more rustic texture.
The restaurant uses cornstarch to thicken the soup and to maintain consistency from batch to batch. I thought the soup was thick enough on its own and chose not to add it. Panizzut agrees and prefers to thicken it by stirring over low heat for about 30 minutes.
Are you looking for a recipe from a Charlotte-area restaurant? Send your request to Jennifer Lover, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram (@jenniferlover). Please include your name, why you like the recipe, the area where you live and the restaurant’s location. Lover is a creative director, stylist and cook who lives in Charlotte.
The Prickly Pear Modern Mexican Cuisine
637 Williamson Road, Mooresville; 704-799-0875.
The Prickly Pear’s Corn Soup
From The Prickly Pear, Mooresville.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into long strips
3 cups chicken stock
12-15 ears of corn, kernels removed
3-4 poblano peppers, roasted, stemmed and seeded
5 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh thyme, finely chopped (optional)
Creme fraiche, Mexican crema or a mix of cream and sour cream
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, saute the onion in the butter over medium heat until onion is lightly golden and caramelized.
Add chicken stock, corn kernels and poblano peppers. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to thoroughly puree the mixture, 2 to 3 minutes. Press puree through a mesh strainer into a bowl using the back of a ladle or a rubber spatula.
Put the strained corn mixture back into the stockpot over medium heat and add the heavy cream. Bring to a low boil. (At this point, you can add cornstarch for a thicker soup. See note). Season with 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and kosher salt to taste. Thyme is optional and should be used sparingly, no more than 1/2 teaspoon. Lower heat and simmer a few minutes longer.
Serve with a drizzle of crème fraiche or Mexican crema. Or whisk together 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Note: If you prefer a thicker soup, mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small bowl. Add half of the mixture to the soup and stir until thickened. Add additional cornstarch until desired thickness is achieved.
Yield: 8 servings