Hatch Chile Soup with Fresh Summer Corn & Cilantro Lime Shrimp – so easy to make and so much flavor!
Hatch chiles arrive here in Northern VA once each year, always in late summer and there are never enough to go around. I’m part of the mad scramble to be one of the lucky few to bring some home. Most of the time I’m able to succeed, and last fall was a particularly good year for me. I scored about ten pounds of freshly roasted hatch chiles and I took full advantage!
This year, my freezer is already filled with flame-roasted hatch chiles, courtesy of Young Guns Produce, a fantastic hatch chile producer in the heart of Hatch Valley, New Mexico. I had the good fortune to spend a few hours with Kari Shepan and Chris Franzoy who pretty much run the whole operation. We toured their hatch chile fields, enjoyed World Famous Green Chile Cheeseburgers at Sparky’s Burgers and talked a LOT about hatch chiles. But mostly we had a lot fun and even more laughs. Good people, those Young Guns folks.
I’m feeling pretty spoiled, really. Young Guns flame-roasts their chiles, dices them then ships them frozen (check stores near you)! What I love about their hatch chiles is that they’re not mushy when you cook them; they retain their shape and texture as if you’d just roasted and diced them yourself. I have a freezer FILLED with mild, medium, hot and extra-hot…and I’ve been using them in just about everything!
This Hatch Chile Soup with Fresh Summer Corn is, in my opinion, the best of the recipes I’ve created with my hatch chiles to date. It’s got some heat from the chiles but the sweet summer corn cools things down a bit and adds a nice texture. You can make this hatch chile soup with or without the shrimp, but they do take the recipe up a notch. It’s easy to throw together, even at the last minute – I don’t even thaw my chiles, I just toss in the whole bag and cook ’em until the liquid has cooked off. Couldn’t be more simple!
Learning about hatch chiles was a really cool experience for me. I’ve gushed about the kind, generous people of New Mexico but it was just as exciting to learn about these chiles and see them growing first-hand. Hatch, NM itself is quite small in terms of population but there’s a lot of pride there, and rightfully so. I thought I was fairly well-versed in hatch chiles, having cooked with them for the past few years. I knew that a chile wasn’t a “hatch” unless it had been grown in Hatch Valley, but I’d thought that the hatch was the variety – turns out, there are many varieties of hatch chiles and they ALL come from Hatch Valley! The Big Jim is the most common (I just gave you the answer to the Amazon gift card giveaway!) but there are numerous other varieties to choose from. I’m growing some Big Jims from seeds I brought back and my parents are doing the same. So excited that I’ll have both Young Guns hatch chiles in my freezer AND some fresh ones to stuff – some great stuffed hatch chile recipes will surely be coming your way!
Until then…make this Hatch Chile Soup!! It’s been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for, both with and without the shrimp. Many grocery stores are carrying the Young Guns brand of frozen hatch chiles so there’s no excuse not to enjoy this flavorful, healthy Hatch Chile Soup :)
For the shrimp
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for cooking shrimp
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 16 ounce package Young Guns Medium Flame-Roasted Diced Hatch Chiles, or two cups roasted hatch chiles, diced - heat will depend on the peppers!
- 1 32 ounce container low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 3/4 cup half & half, or to taste; I added the full amount to cool the heat level
- kosher salt, to taste
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed and cobs discarded
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
- In a large, resealable plastic bag, mix together olive oil, cilantro and lime juice. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for one hour to allow flavors to penetrate shrimp.
- Meanwhile, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to preheated pot over medium heat. Add onions, sautè for approximately 5 minutes or until slightly soft and opaque. Add chiles (it's okay if they're still a little frozen) and cook until all liquid has evaporated (mixture should still be moist but with no excess liquid). Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
- Add chicken stock and simmer, covered, at least 30 minutes, longer if preferred. Puree mixture using an immersion blender (could also use a regular blender in batches if necessary). Taste and season with salt. Add half & half, to taste, then season again with salt. Stir in chopped cilantro and corn. Keep warm while you cook the shrimp.
- Lightly pat shrimp dry on paper towels. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a little extra-virgin olive oil. When skillet and oil is hot (but not smoking), add shrimp in one layer (leave plenty of room in skillet for shrimp, cooking in batches if necessary). Cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp are cooked on one side, flip shrimp and cook another 2 minutes or until they're JUST cooked through (I'll turn off my heat and allow the residual heat to finish cooking them to ensure they're perfectly cooked). Remove from pan once cooked and place in bowl or on a plate.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Top with 3-5 shrimp each (depending on size) and crumbled queso fresco. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 249 Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 156mg Sodium: 1140mg Carbohydrates: 12g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Protein: 15g