Whatever pilgrims decided to drop their bags in the Midwest and stay there were completely off the mark. It’s no wonder why we’re only known for farming and Oprah. Growing up, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the Midwest. We’re landlocked, surrounded by small towns, and subjected to bad weather. But at least we have corn!
Okay, so it’ s not exactly in season anymore, and it doesn’t hold a candle to seventy degree weather and celebrity sightings, but corn is is delicious, and Midwesterners should be proud of it!
My Mexican corn soup is a clear example of this. It’s rich, spicy, and comforting. Don’t have fresh corn? Doesn’t matter. Frozen corn is a worthy substitute.
Begin by preparing your vegetables and aromatics. Here, we’ll be using garlic, lime zest, cumin seeds, cilantro stems, jalapenos, onions, and tomatoes. If you’re wondering about the cilantro “stems”, don’t worry, they’re chopped finely and have way more flavor than the leaves.
The beauty of this soup is that it’s blended, so apart from the cilantro stems, you don’t need to chop anything finely. Start by frying some cumin seeds in a little vegetable oil in a large soup or stock pot, at medium-high heat. Once the seeds begin to sputter, add in your onions. Cook until translucent before adding garlic, lime zest, jalapenos, and cilantro stems. Then cook another couple of minutes before adding tomatoes. Once tomatoes have cooked, you can add the frozen corn.
Add in your corn and some fresh cilantro and begin tossing. Cook this mixture for a couple minutes before adding in your liquid.
Once the soup mixture has cooked, simply ladle into a blender and liquify until a smooth consistency is achieved. Then pour back into soup pot, re-heat, and garnish with green onions. Serve with a drizzle of chili oil and enjoy!
1 2lb bag of frozen corn
3-4 large cloves garlic (smashed)
1 white onion (chopped)
1 large tomato (chopped)
handful cilantro (stems included) finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
2-3 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
2 green onions chopped
About 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups water
salt (about 4 teaspoons, makes alot of soup, or to taste)
pepper (about 1 teaspoon)
In large pot, heat oil and fry cumin seeds until toasted. Add onions, butter, and cumin powder and fry until onions have slightly browned. Next add the garlic and fry for about 2 minutes. Once garlic has slightly browned, add lime zest, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Fry for 1-2 minutes before adding tomatoes. Cook tomatoes until softened (about 5-7 minutes). Once tomatoes are cooked, add 2lb bag of corn. Fry until corn is heated through completely before adding your cooking liquid. Add salt and pepper, stir and let simmer until corn is cooked. (About ten minutes) Set aside and cool
Once soup has cooled, transfer to a blender and puree until you achieve a smooth, silky consistency. Squeeze fresh lime juice and fold in chopped green onions and a handful of chopped cilantro. If soup is too thick for your liking, simply add more liquid to thin it.
You may serve with a drizzle of chili oil, or a dollop of sour cream and shredded queso (Mexican cheese).