Sopa de Elote y Calabaza
Fresh Corn and Zucchini Soup
Serves 4 to 6
This easy-to-make soup tastes of the very essence of corn. Try to find sweet yellow corn at your market. It contains more starch than white corn, which naturally thickens the soup, and the long simmering in the slow cooker brings out the corn’s natural sweetness. Simmering the scraped cobs with the soup gives it even more flavor, while a final swirl of thick Mexican crema gives it a touch of buttery decadence.
4 ears fresh sweet yellow corn
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 white onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, crushed
2 small zucchini or green calabaza squash, finely diced (about 2 cups)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon shredded fresh epazote leaves
1/3 cup heavy cream or Mexican crema
Remove and discard the husks and silk from the corn and cut the kernels from each cob. You should have about 3 cups of kernels. Reserve the cobs.
In a 10-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, corn kernels, and coriander. Cover and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker.
Add the corncobs, zucchini, water, and salt to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Just before serving, remove and discard the corncobs and stir in the epazote. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top each with a spoonful of crema.
Substitute thinly sliced green onion tops or cilantro for the epazote.
Sprinkle each serving with ground guajillo or New Mexico chile.
Reprinted with permission from The Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Photo credit: Maren Caruso © 2012