Late Summer Corn Soup

Posted on September 17, 2023 by psu

This one is an intellectual companion to the food processor salsa from last time. The soup is based on a recipe for “Green Corn Soup” from the Fields of Greens cookbook. This is a weird name for the dish because it doesn’t really come out green. Especially if you use red peppers. Their way was also very tedious and fussy so I have streamlined it here.

One special thing you do need for this soup is a “food mill”. A food mill is like a strainer with a spinning handle that pushes stuff through the seive part of the strainer. Like this.

Collect the following:

  1. 6 ears of corn. Get someone to cut all the kernels off the corn for you.

  2. 6-12 tomatillos, peeled cut into big chunks.

  3. Around three hot peppers if you get hot peppers from where I get hot peppers. Cut the seeds out of two of them. If you want more heat, keep more seeds. This year the red cayennes have been great.

  4. 1 pretty big yellow or red onion, chopped small.

  5. 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, diced.

  6. A big bunch of cilantro. Including the stems.

First take the peppers and roast them in a 425F oven for 10-15 minutes or until they start to scorch.

Meanwhile, get out your soup pot and heat it up on medium. Add oil and the onion and garlic. Stir that around with some salt and pepper until the onion gets soft. Don’t burn it.

Now add the corn and a quart or two of water … you need just enough so the corn is mostly submerged. Bring this to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer around 10-15 minutes or until the corn is pretty soft. When this is done scoop about 2 ladles worth of the corn into a bowl. Set the bowl aside.

Take the tomatillos and add them to the pot along with a bit more water if you need it.

While the pot comes back to heat, take the peppers you had in the oven out and cut them into little pieces and throw them in the pot.

Finally, chop up 90% of the cilantro, including all the stems. Keep some of the leaves for later.

When the tomatillos are soft turn the heat off and take an immersion blender and liquify everything in the soup pot. This will take about 5 or 6 passes around all over and several minutes. Be patient.

Now get someone to run the contents of the soup pot through a food mill. This will make the smooth part of the soup even smoooother. Throw the even smoother soup back in the pot.

Now take the bowl of corn kernels you kept aside before and throw them back in the pot along with some more liquid if you need it. Heat everything back up. Adjust the salt and pepper so it tastes good. For an Asian twist add some chicken powder and/or MSG and a dash of fish sauce for an extra umami jolt. Maybe some white pepper too if you want.

Let it simmer on low heat for five or ten minutes to let everything melt together and you are done.

Notes: You could make this with chicken stock, and it would be fine. But it doesn’t really need it. The original recipe is from a vegetarian cookbook so they obviously did not do this. The book suggests you make a “corn stock” from the ears that you cut the kernels off of. If you feel like killing some time doing this go ahead but I am completely not convinced that it’s worth it. Using red hot peppers gets you a bit of extra sweetness on top of the corn which is nice. The original recipe called for jalapenos, but jalapenos kind of suck now so I would suggest getting better stuff.