Red Pepper, Chickpea & Corn Soup
Bursting with the flavors of ripe red peppers and yellow corn, this oil-free vegan red pepper corn soup expresses the best of summer.
The inspiration for this red pepper corn soup came from a Farmer’s Market visit about three years ago during the summer in late July. Yellow corn was piled high and several varieties of peppers were all ripened to their natural beautiful vibrant red color. There is a rich sweet flavor that comes from fully ripened sweet and hot peppers and yellow corn is bursting with flavor. This oil-free vegan red pepper corn soup expresses the best of summer into fall harvests. If you can’t get to a Farmers market, well-stocked grocery stores will have a nice selection of red peppers and corn during the season which is late July to October depending on where you located.
The Ripe Red Peppers for Corn Soup
There are many varieties of red peppers with varying levels of piquante, from mild, like the classic red bell to screaming piquante, like habaneros. For this Red Pepper Corn Soup I use a combination of mild and medium piquante red peppers. For the mild, I used the classic Red Bell pepper. Other mild peppers like Poblanos and Anaheim are also really good in this soup. Both Poblanos and Anaheim varieties are mild, but have some kick. Fresno peppers are thin skinned and have a mild, sweet and somewhat piquante flavor. Jalapeno peppers have a little more piquante and sometimes a lot more piquante. Serrano peppers are often quite piquante.
It’s a good idea to take a small taste of each before using so you can gauge how much of each pepper you want to add in the corn soup. The piquante of peppers goes a long way in soup, more so than other dishes like stews. The sweetness of the mild red peppers balances the piquante from the Fresno or Jalapeno peppers.
Corn is almost synonymous with the arrival of the height of summer. This year I noticed that the white corn was coming into the Farmers market much sooner than the yellow corn and grocery stores has had only white corn. While white corn is good for some dishes, I patiently waited for the yellow corn to make this particular corn soup. The yellow corn has more depth of flavor and makes for a fuller-flavored corn cob stock.
Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo Beans) in the Red Pepper Corn Soup
Chickpeas with their texture and nutty taste and the sweet deep flavor of yellow corn are simply a delicious combo and really works in the this corn soup. I have made with and with out, but found the chickpeas are worth keeping in for the way they taste with the corn kernels. Cooked from dried chickpeas are best and will give you the highly coveted chickpea stock, but drained and well-rinsed canned chickpeas will also do fine for this soup.
Corn Soup Stock
Corn cob stock which uses the cobs from the soup part of the recipe can be made a day ahead. The corn cob stock can also be made while you are starting the soup in another stock pot. Cut of the kernels ahead of time, and start the stock (see below), then continue with the soup in another pot. If you don’t have time for stock making, store-bought vegetable stock or even water will do and the soup is good, but doesn’t have quite the depth or the balance of the sweetness that the corn cob stock gives. The chickpea stock from making chickpeas from dried is also good. Liquid from canned chickpeas is not so good. It has a tin taste and may add to much salt. A combination of homemade chickpea stock and corn cob stock which is very flavorful will be perfect too.
This red pepper corn soup, is even better topped with homemade garden salsa fresca.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- cutting board
- chef knife
- shallow bowl
- Dutch Oven or Stock Pot
- flat wood spatula
- hand blender
- stock pot for corn cob stock if making
- soup ladle to serve