I made this soup after returning from Mexico, inspired by the country's robust use of corn. I also picked up a bag of assorted dried chilies from one of the street markets as well as a liter of avocado oil during my travels. I love cold soups, and although it's not quite warm enough for them in (still) rainy Portland, I decided to turn up the heat (in my house) and wish warm thoughts with this soup. I made this gazpacho as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program in cahoots with New Belgium Brewery.
I focused on their Ranger IPA, because:
1) IPAs are my favorite type of beer.
2) The Ranger is strong in citrus notes which compliments this Mexican inspired soup.
The combination of velvety, cool soup, a little chili heat carried by rich avocado oil, and frozen beer is intriguing and fun. Paired with a glass of frosty Ranger IPA, as well.
I didn't strain my soup as I wanted some body and a little chunky corn nibbles for support. I am a pulp OJ kinda girl too, so this may have something to do with it. If you like your stuff smooth, then strain away.
Corn Gazpacho with Chipotle infused Avocado oil and Beer Granita
4 ears fresh corn, husked
4 cups low-salt chicken broth (I used non-chicken chicken broth)
2 shallots, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onions
Chipotle infused Avocado Oil
1 large dried chili
1/3 cup avocado oil
1 bottle of citrus-y beer (I used New Belgium Brewing Ranger IPA)
To prepare soup
Cut kernels off corn and place kernels in a heavy large pot. Add the broth and shallots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until corn is very tender - about 20 minutes. Remove pot from burner and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour contents of pot in blender and puree until smooth. Strain soup through a fine sieve if you wish. Cover and refrigerate soup until cold, about 4 hours (can be made 1 day ahead). Before serving, squeeze in lime juice and stir.
To prepare oil
Pour enough hot water over dried chili to cover it. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so the chili becomes fleshy. Removed from water, cut into strips and puree with avocado oil and sea salt until smooth.
To prepare beer granita
Pour bottle of cold beer into a prepared ice cream maker. Turn on the machine as if you are making ice cream. It will froth up into an icy glory in about 10 minutes.
Assemble soup by pouring into small bowls, drizzle with oil and add a scoop of granita. Top with minced chives.