Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mexican Corn Soup....Ole

Hi everybody!  Did you all see the picture I posted of me at the farmer’s market last Sunday?  Yep, I actually go to the local farmer’s market….and they don’t even sell Velveeta there!  But I still like to go.  Everything always looks so good there, kind of makes me want to eat vegetables.  The farmer’s markets in Northern Nevada are not all year round.  They are only in the summer, so I have to get my fill while I can.  This trip, I knew exactly what I was after…..the makin’s for my Mexican Corn Soup.
Addy and I ate at a local restaurant that carries my products last week.  They use my Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread on their Brie plate, and sometimes I like to go to see my name on the menu.  And I like to visit my products on the shelves.  Addy had their corn chowder and she said “mom, this is literally the best thing I have ever eaten.”  As you can imagine, that made me, the food blogger and gourmet food company owner, feel fantastic.  Nothing like hearing that from your own child.  Naturally, I had to make her corn soup so that she could think that I am the best again;)
The inspiration for my corn soup is the corn salsa/salad that everyone likes to make in the summer.  You know, the mix of fresh corn, black beans, tomato, cilantro, etc?  I make a thick corn chowder-esque soup that is filled with corn, potatoes, onion and green chilies.  I top it with avocado, red onion, cilantro, tomatoes and black beans that have been mixed with a squirt of lime juice.  I got my fresh corn, red onion, cilantro, avocado and heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market.
Let’s start with the soup….
I use 6 ears of fresh corn.  Are you an in-store shucker?  I’m not.  I like to get my shuck on at home.  I never use the trash can that is by the corn.  Sometimes I end up with an ear that has been nibbled on by a little critter, but that’s the breaks.  I like the suspense.
I also use potatoes, chicken broth, milk, cream, green chilies, butter, chopped onion and Goya Sazon. 
Sazon is a seasoned salt found in Mexican markets….and Walmart.  Actually you can find it in any grocery store in their Latino section.  I use the Coriander and Annatto flavored version.  It is a great seasoning, filled with tons of flavor.
I am sure that many of you are noticing that I use whole milk and cream.  You can feel free to use low-fat milk, although I wouldn’t use skim.  You can also leave out the cream.  Though I’m not sure why you would.  Unless the “Food Police” are after you too.
I start by sautéing the onion in butter.  I just want to soften it a bit.  At that point I add the sazon.  This will make it a bright orange color, and it will smell like a taqueria. 
While the onion cooks, I peeled and chopped the potatoes.  Once the onions are nice and sweaty, like me when I go to Sparks (it is a million degrees there), I add the potatoes.  I also add the stock and the milk at that point.
Me….adding milk.
I boil that nonsense out of this for about 7 or 8 minutes.  This is to cook the potatoes.  Remember, the potatoes will thicken the soup.
While the potatoes cook in the soup, I cut the corn off the cob.  Here is a trick….use a Bundt pan.  Place the cob in the center and cut the corn off.  The corn will land in the Bundt pan instead of flying all over the room.
The corn and green chilies get added to the soup now.  I boil it, again, for about 7 minutes to soften the corn.
See how the onions have a bright orange flavor?  That is the sazon.
An actual chowder has flour in it to thicken the soup.  I don’t want this soup that thick.  Sometimes chowders are almost pudding-like they are so thick.  I like my way better;)  I put about half of the soup in the processor to blend.  I like to leave some texture so I only do half.   You can do as much as you want.

I put the soup back on the heat and add the cream.  Just a smidge;)
Now let’s make the topping…..
I use an heirloom tomato, a couple of avocados, red onion, black beans (drained), cilantro, lime juice, and salt & pepper.
I used to hate cilantro.  As I have grown up, I have learned to love it.  I have heard that some people have something in their body chemistry that makes cilantro taste soapy to them.  For those freaks of nature, leave it out.
See that tomato carcass in the middle of the picture?  I cut around the tomato to just take off the fleshy part.  I don’t want the seeds, juice and various other wet parts of the tomato.  This would water down the topping.  I have seen TV chefs tell you to save the middle part because “you can use it again.”  Baloney.  You won’t.  Toss it.
I pretty much just chop all that needs to be chopped and mix it with the beans.  I season it with lime juice and salt and pepper.  It is good as is, wait until you taste it on the soup!
I also top this soup with tortilla chips, cotija cheese and Cholula hot sauce.  This, combined with the salsa like topping is amazing.
This is a perfect summer soup.  It is refreshing, made with fresh seasonal ingredients, and it is easy!  The sazon gives great flavor without making it spicy, and without overpowering the sweet flavor of the corn.  I find this soup to be more “summery” then typical corn chowder.  Addy still preferred the restaurants corn chowder.  Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.  And besides…she’s 6.  Her favorite food is gummy worms.
See you all on Thursday!
Mexican Corn Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 packets Goya Sazon, Coriander and Annatto Flavor
4 cups chicken stock
1 and ½ cups milk
2 Idaho potatoes
8 ounces chopped green chilies
6 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
½ cup heavy cream
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup black beans, drained
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add chopped onion and sazon packets.  Sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add stock and milk and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and boil for 7 minutes.  Add corn and green chilies and bring back to a boil. 
Puree soup, in batches, in food processor.  Pour soup back into the pot and put back onto the heat.  Add cream and heat through.
For topping:
Combine all ingredients gently.  Top soup with tortilla chips, cotija cheese, and black bean mixture.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this - looks great!