Monday, February 17, 2014

Mexican Cream of Corn Soup

Winter is not over. Anyone living on the east coast knows this all too well. The weather is so awful that lots of folks have been stuck inside for days. With a well-stocked pantry, you can make this soup. It's quick, done in under an hour. It's easy, mostly about opening cans. It's rich, but not really. The creamed corn thickens the soup, fooling you into thinking this is richer than it really is. It's a comforting bowl of creamy chunky tomato soup.

You can use regular canned tomatoes or Mexican tomatoes. Mexican tomatoes have roasted green chiles added, which I love. If you don't like spicy, they even make a mild version that gives you the flavor of green chile without the heat.

Mexican Cream of Corn Soup
(serves 6)

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup diced red pepper (frozen or fresh)
2 Tablespoons dried minced onions (see Note)
1 14-15 oz. can diced Mexican tomatoes (mild or medium)
1 14-16 oz. can cream-style corn
2 cups vegetable broth + ½ cup water
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup minced cilantro or parsley + more for garnish
5 oz. can evaporated whole milk
5 oz. skim milk (use evaporated milk can to measure)

Heat oil in a small soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until red pepper softens. Add dried onions, tomatoes, cream-style corn, broth, water, oregano, black pepper, salt, and ¼ cup herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add evaporated and skim milk. Heat to serving temperature but do not boil because the milk will separate (it's still edible if this happens but the soup won't be smooth). Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with more minced herbs, if desired.

Note: This is a pantry recipe so we use dried minced onion. But, if you have a bit of fresh onion, mince it and toss it in with the peppers and garlic at the start and omit the ½ cup of water.

Adapted from Mexicali Corn Soup in The Vegetarian Gourmet's Easy International Recipes by Bobbie Hinman, Surrey Books, 2001.

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