The Craving

mexican corn soup

I am a little bit obsessed with Mexican food at the moment. I’m tempted to put guacamole and black beans with almost everything I eat and I’ve been to the Guzman Y Gomez store in Australia Square so many times in the last few weeks that the staff have practically memorised my order. I’ve initiated ‘Taco Tuesday’, a Mexican dinner with a gaggle of food bloggers for the near future, and I’m planning to cook up a Mexican feast when I’m in Perth later this month. Phases like this come and go quite often for me but I try to make the most of it while I’ve got the craving.

Which is why, when I saw the Mexican Corn Soup recipe in January’s Gourmet Traveller, two hours later I was shopping for ingredients. Sweet corn is in season right now, and I managed to pick up nine cobs from my local greengrocer for only $3. I do love a bargain! There is quite a bit of prep involved in this recipe – first the husks and stringy bits need to be removed from each cob, and then the kernels dislodged from the cob. I did this with a knife, cutting each cob in half horizontally first. Also the peppers have to be char-grilled and peeled. I did this on the BBQ, but you could use a frying pan or grill if you like.

I changed the recipe a fair bit from how it is written in the magazine, purely because I felt it didn’t taste quite right to me. Even with four red chillies, there wasn’t even a hint of spice, so I added in some dried chilli flakes. To me, the soup tasted a little watery and bland so I added a little butter and cream. Dad suggested adding chicken, mostly because he didn’t think it looked very filling and some protein wouldn’t go astray. In the end, I was very pleased with how it came out, and it was a really great meal, though I’m not sure how traditional it is after my tinkering and tweaking of the recipe. I especially liked the avocado and cherry tomato on top for a bit of colour and flavour.

I would highly recommend making this soup while fresh corn is at its seasonal peak. Chose cobs sold still in their husk, which are fresh and green, with no signs of yellowing or browning.

Mexican Corn Soup with Crushed Avocado
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
Serves 4 – 6

• 4 yellow or red banana capsicum
• 4 long red chillies
• 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
• 90ml olive oil
• 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons cumin
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1.2kg corn kernels (from about 8-9 cobs, cobs reserved)
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 1 cup water
• ¾ cup cream
• 50g salted butter
• 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into small cubes (optional)
• 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Dried chilli flakes, to taste

Crushed Avocado
• 1 or 2 scallions (spring onions), sliced thinly
• 2 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)
• 2 avocados, coarsely chopped
• 120g cherry tomatoes, quartered (about ½ punnet)
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• ½ cup fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat a grill or BBQ to high. Cut the capsicum, chillies and head of garlic in half and brush both sides with olive oil. Wrap the garlic in aluminium foil. Place cut side up on BBQ plate, or on a baking tray under the grill. Grill until starting to blacken. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins, finely chop and set aside. Peel capsicum and chilli, coarsely chop flesh and set aside.
2. Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, sauté until very tender. Add spices and sauté until fragrant, then add corn (reserve 2 cups), reserved corn cobs, grilled garlic, capsicum and chilli and stir to combine.
3. Add stock and 250ml water, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until corn is tender. Discard cobs, and process mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
4. In the meantime, cook reserved corn kernels in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain.
5. Return pureed soup to saucepan over medium heat, add butter and cream and stir until combined. Add cooked corn kernels and chicken, if using and season with chilli, salt and pepper.
6. For crushed avocado, combine shallot and lime juice in a bowl and stand for 5 minutes until shallot is tender. Stir in avocado, tomato, olive oil and coriander and season to taste. Serve dolloped into corn soup.

6 Comments on “The Craving”

  1. Traditional, schmaditional 😛 What's important is that this looks super delicious. Looking forward to posts about Taco Tuesday – got to love living vicariously throgh others 😀

  2. It looks fantastic. So nice to see someone making Mexican food that isn't Tex-Mex cheese smothered goop. If you're after another great Mexican meal you could try making gorditas. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe this week and the salsa part is delicious!

  3. This is a celebrated article as they all are. I from been wondering less this for some beat now. Its great to note down this info. You are fair and balanced.

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