The roasty flavors of this zesty soup are wonderfully enriched with the sweet corniness of masa the dough that’s used for making corn tortillas. Whether you use the easily accessible dehydrated masa harinaor the fresh dough available from tortilla factories, you’ll love the complex flavors.
(No masa at all? Thicken the soup with a little cornstarch dissolved in water.)
Dress up your soup with grilled shrimp or scallops to start a very special meal—even drizzle on a little Mexican crema or crème fraiche right before serving. It’s based on a classic soup from Central and Eastern Mexico that’s called chileatole.
In a large saucepan or soup pot, cook the onion and poblano in the oil for 5 or 6 minutes until both are tender. Scrape into a blender or food processor and add half of the corn and all of the salsa. Process to a smooth puree and press through a medium-mesh strainer back into the pan or pot.
Stir in the broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low, stirring often, for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the fresh masa or masa harina with 1/4 cup water, making sure there are no lumps. Strain the mixture (you can use the same strainer) directly into the simmering pot, stirring all the while. Continue to stir until the soup thickens, then taste and season with salt. Add the remaining corn kernels, let return to a simmer, then ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro before carrying to the table.