Southwest Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

6 large red bell peppers
3 ears of sweet corn (reserve one for the salsa)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons chipotle powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 reserved ear of roasted corn
1 scallion, thinly sliced
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1. Pre-heat oven broiler. Line one large or two small rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Slice peppers in half. Clean out the seeds. Place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Remove corn from husks, discarding all silk. Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle peppers and corn with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place directly under broiler for 25-30 minutes, rotating the corn halfway through. Broil until the peppers are covered with black blisters and the corn has lightly browned kernels. Remove from oven and let corn cool. Wrap peppers tightly in aluminum foil, or place inside of a paper bag and close tightly. Place inside of a bowl to catch any juices that might spill out for about 10-15 minutes. The steam will help the skins peel off more easily. Remove one pepper at a time. Using a paper towel, rub the skins off and discard. If you have trouble removing the skins, then steam the peppers a bit longer. Chop peppers. Once corn is cooled, cut off kernels, reserving one ear for the salsa.

2. In a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, warm remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute onions and celery for 5-7 minutes until translucent and lightly browned. Add roasted peppers, corn kernels, vegetable broth, salt, and chipotle powder, and cook 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro. Allow to cool completely before pureeing.

3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth, or if you prefer, a little chunky. Taste it. Add more chipotle powder if you'd like some extra heat. Return soup to pot and heat on stovetop for 7-10 minutes before serving.

4. For the salsa, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Garnish each bowl of soup with 1-2 tablespoons of salsa.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.