It is mid-September and the weather is still breathtakingly beautiful in Victoria, BC so I made this deliciously simple Mexican spiced corn soup to celebrate the continued sunshine!
It is easy to appreciate the sun at anytime but I am particularly grateful for the warmth after a long, almost entirely muggy and grey summer in Paris and especially in light of the fact that Calgary has already experienced a debilitating snow storm and it’s only September!
I have also had visitors, my BG (the French boy living with me for a few months) and a dear friend whom I met this summer in Paris. Under the kiss of a lingering summer, I was able to show them my city at its very best. We took adorable little harbor ferries to feed the seals at Fishermen’s Wharf, walked along the breakwater at Ogden Point and made like iguanas out in Sooke Pot Holes, alternatively basking in the sun and diving into the glacial, absurdly clear pools from the high cliffs bracketing the waters. It’s funny how the sunshine, now that it is on stolen time, seems more precious and it seems that everyone is out in droves licking up the last drops of summer before it inevitably wanes. How do you spend the last days of summer? Swimming, biking, hiking, avoiding the sun (your skin can’t take another burn), eating ice cream until you burst?
For me it means the opportunity to cook a few more summery dishes! I opened the fridge the other day to be greeted by an abundance of corn and, after reading about a recipe over at Crepes of Wrath, I knew immediately what had to be done with it. First, I opened all my windows and doors to let in the fragrant sea breeze and the syrupy sunshine and then popped on my Summer Playlist before getting to work with the corn.
The soup is very simple to make once you have your music on, but I have found that it does make the meal taste better if you make it while dancing (don’t ask me why, but there must be some kind of culinary science behind it). If you don’t have a specialty Mexican shop in the area to buy ground Pasilla peppers you can substitute with more red pepper flakes or, depending on your preference for spice, leave it out entirely or use a spicier variety of pepper.
I hope that those of you with continued sunshine enjoy its last, lingering rays and if you are already in the first blush of a cool autumn, crank out this soup to add some summer back into your life!
Songs from a Summer Playlist
- 6 ears of corn
- 10 cups water
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 springs of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- Corn from the 6 ears of corn
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- ¾ teaspoon ground Pasilla pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Garnish with scallions and avocado
- Strip the corn of the leaves and silk, and discard them. In a large bowl, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels away from the corn stalks (to make this process easier and to reduce the risk of cutting yourself, you can place the tip of the corn in a blender lid with the center piece removed to increase stability).
- Place the ears of corn (without their kernels) in a large pot along with the rosemary, red pepper flakes and cover with the 10 cups of water. Cover, and allow to gently boil for an hour.
- In a large pan, carefully brown the garlic in the olive oil before adding the chopped onions. Cook the onions, adding water when necessary, until they are almost caramelized (approx. 15-20 minutes). Add the celery and zucchini; cook until the celery is almost translucent and the zucchini has started to soften. Add the corn, ground Pasilla pepper and salt. Stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the ears of corn and rosemary sprigs from the broth. Add the vegetable mixture and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with diced avocado and thinly sliced scallions.
- The soup increases in flavor after a day or two and can be refrigerated for up to a week.