Spicy corn stew with chunks of salmon

This colorful meal-in-a-pot needs nothing more than a loaf of crusty bread to make a hearty supper. Add a salad if you like, but the stew is chock-full of vegetables. Making a corn broth from the cobs gives the soup an underlying complex sweet corn flavor. It’s an ideal pairing with the salmon, and the addition of a poblano gives the stew a bright chile flavor without being overpoweringly hot. A squeeze of lime and a pungent kick of cilantro are the perfect garnish.


6 fresh ears yellow corn shucked
2 large sweet onions such as Walla Walla, Vidalia, or Maui
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups cold water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large poblano chile seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (see Cook’s Note)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (12 ounces) salmon fillet skin and pin bones removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime cut into 6 wedges


Working with one ear of corn at a time, stand it upright, stem end down, in a large bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut downward along the cob, removing the kernels and rotating the cob a quarter turn after each cut. Reserve the cobs. Set the kernels aside. Cut one of the onions into thin slices and set aside. Cut the other onion into 1/2-inch dice and set aside.

In a heavy soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sliced onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and just beginning to brown at the edges, 10 minutes. Add the reserved corncobs and the water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook until reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, remove the cobs from the pot and discard. Pour the corn broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl or, preferably, a 4-cup glass measure. Press down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should have 4 cups of strained broth. Set aside. Clean the soup pot ready to complete the soup.