I love corn and I love making soup, so yesterday when I left the house and good timing allowed me to bump into the guys selling fresh corn from the back of a pick up for $15 (pesos) for a dozen i couldn’t resist. Normally when we buy corn my husband likes to make esquites, a yummy mexican corn dish, but this time i bought 2 dozen corns, enough for me to make soup and him to make delicious esquites another day.. i will post the recipe for that soon.
This is a comforting and rustic soup that reminds me of home, delicious, crunchy sweet corn combined with soft potatoes and tender chicken breast in a creamy sauce with fragrant thyme and bay leaves. All you need to go with it is crusty fresh bread and maybe a log fire to curl up in front of.. that is if you don’t live in the sweaty, tropical Pacific! If you do, don’t worry this soup tastes just as good in the heat!
I cannot believe that i forgot to take a photo before we devoured the entire pot of soup..so the pic is not mine but looks pretty similar, except mine was topped with crispy chicken and parsley. 😦 I will make it again soon and update the picture when I do!
4 Ears of corn
750ml (3 cups) Corn stock*
250ml (1 cup) Cream, yoghurt or milk, or a combination of these – go for yoghurt if you want to choose the healthy option or cream for full creaminess!
1/2 White onion finely chopped
3 Cloves of garlic
1 Large potato cooked and cubed
1 Chicken Breast
1 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Thyme
3-4 Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper
Parsley finely chopped
4 Corn cobs (with the corn removed)
1 Litre of water
1 Clove of garlic
1/2 White onion (in one piece)
Serves 2 large bowl-fulls, 3 medium or 4 smaller portions.
1. Take all the outer leaves from the corn and the soft fibrous hairs (save the hairs to make ‘te de elote’ or corn silk tea – a tasty and detoxifying tea), then on a chopping board hold the corn upright and with a sharp knife slice downwards to take off all the corn kernels, collecting them and any of the white milky liquid in a bowl and leave to one side. (If you do not have fresh corn, then use canned and use chicken stock or a chicken stock cube instead of corn stock, if you are making this veggie then use vegetable stock instead).
2. Once you are left with just the empty corn cobs, cut them in 2 or 3 pieces and boil them in a large pot in 1 litre of water for at least 20 minutes with 1 whole clove of garlic and half a white onion ( this should be a whole half – not chopped). Keep a lid on the pan so you don’t lose too much liquid. This will be your corn stock.
3. After 20 mins, turn off heat and remove the corn cobs and onion and discard them. Squash the soft garlic clove with a fork or back of a spoon while still in the pot, stir into stock.
4. Take the chicken breast and cut into 1-1.5cm thick strips, add them to the corn stock and gently bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, keep on a low heat and simmer for about 10 mins or until its cooked through – not too much or the chicken will become rubbery, you want it to be soft and to come apart easily, but it must be properly cooked – white all the way through, no pink, also once it is cooked if you pull it will come apart very easily.
5. Once chicken is cooked through, remove it from the stock and leave aside to cool off a bit. Skim off any foam from the top of the stock if necessary. When the chicken is cool enough to handle pull it apart with your fingers, or with two opposing forks, it should come apart in strings, then leave to one side.
6. Now in a large pot, saute the finely chopped onion and garlic in the butter until the onions are translucent. Then add the corn kernels, potato, 3/4 of the chicken, thyme, salt and pepper and the corn stock. Bring to a simmer and cook partially covered for 30 mins. Add more salt pepper or thyme as necessary.
7. Once the 30 mins is up, turn off the heat and add the cream/yoghurt/milk. Then take out two-thirds of the soup and put into a blender or food processor, blend til fairly smooth, then return it to the pot with the rest of the un-blended soup and thoroughly mix together.
8. In a frying pan or skillet, dry fry the remaining shredded chicken til it’s slightly crispy – season it with pepper and salt if you wish.
There are many alterations you can make to this tasty and versatile soup. You can make it vegetarian and omit the chicken, or you could substitute the chicken for bacon or chorizo. If you like it chunky you don’t have to blend it alternatively if you prefer it smooth and creamy then add a little extra cream or yoghurt and blend all the soup instead of only two-thirds. Top with cheese and croutons for a creamy, crunchy, cheesy soup! Leave out the cream/milk/yoghurt if you prefer – if you leave out the chicken and the cream/milk/yoghurt this is a vegan recipe! Maybe I will post some alternate recipes in a while 🙂