During the tropical summer months I don’t make soup often. It’s just too hot to leave the stove on long enough to cook the soup, and when your body’s already hot and sweaty, warm soup isn’t something you crave (It doesn’t start cooling down here until late November). When I do make the exception for hot weather soup it has to be something special.
Fresh corn on the cob is starting to show back up in the super market and I’m thrilled. There are so many delicious foods to make with this seasonal vegetable and my mouth starts watering just thinking about it. One of my favourite foods to cook during corn season is corn chowder. My love for that chunky soup began when I had it made with fresh corn — no comparison to using frozen kernels or to canned soup!
The other day as I picked some ears of corn my mouth started watering thinking about corn chowder, so I knew I had to make some. But once I set out to prepare the chowder I changed my mind and decided to instead prepare a corn based soup but with Mexican flavours. Then as I rummaged through the fridge I said to myself, “hmm, I wonder how curry powder would taste in the soup?” Curry makes so many foods taste even better, so I had to give it a shot and add it to the pot.
So what started out as a typical American soup transformed itself into a Mexican and Indian fusion. The recipe may not be something found in an old or traditional cooking book for either countries, but it does combine two of my most favourite cuisines. In Mexican cuisine corn and peppers have been paired for many, many years and the taste is delicious. The sweet tenderness of the corn of course pairs wonderfully with the unique Poblano pepper taste — but don’t worry you won’t have to do any pepper roasting for this recipe, and together their flavours worked great with the complex spices of a standard yellow Indian curry powder. The results is a creamy soup that is spicy and a little sweet and has bits of chunky vegetables. So not exactly as a chowder but definitely just as delicious.
Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup with a Touch of Curry Powder
- 1 medium to large ear of corn chucked and sliced off the cob (you want just the kernels)
- 1 medium sized poblano pepper seeded and sliced into strips
- 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 Serrano pepper finely chopped*, optional (remove seeds for milder soup)
- small pinch of coarse sea salt adjust to taste
- 1 heaping teaspoon of yellow Indian curry powder adjust to taste
- 2 cups or 473 ml of low-sodium vegetable broth either store-bought or homemade is fine
- 1/3 cup or 60 ml whole fat milk or cream or dairy-free milk of choice
- 1.5 Tablespoons masa harina or flour of choice to thicken
- a little bit of olive oil
- Heat the oil and sauté the poblano peppers and serranos until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add the curry powder and salt and cook for a minute, then add the corn, broth and milk. Cover and simmer until the corn has softened and cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. In a small bowl combine the flour with a little bit of water until you achieve a smooth pancake batter-like constancy, and without any lumps. Pour the mixture into the soup and stir until well combined. Allow to simmer until the soup thickens a bit. Cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve as an appetiser for 4 or as a light main meal for 2 people.
This is a very quick and easy vegan or vegetarian recipe that you could even cook and freeze for eating later on. I hope ears of corn are already piling up at all of your super markets, but if not don’t worry they will be soon.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…