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Emerald Corn Soup

24 comments /
If ever there were a soup indicative of summer, this is it.  Fat, juicy kernels of sweet corn stripped from the cob.  Tomatillos hanging like little lanterns from the plant, just waiting to be removed from their papery husks.  The seductive heat of emerald  green poblanos mingling with the bright heat of jalapeños.

Yes.  That would be summer in a bowl.
I know, I know.  I can hear the grumbles now.  It's summer!  Why would I want soup in the summertime?  Well, durnitall.  If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - soup in the summer is a good thing!  Really, there are soups perfectly fitted for summer.

There are the obvious cold soups like gazpacho and vichyssoise.  But there are also thin, brothy soups (my favorite kind) that can make a satisfying meal without seeming heavy.  Especially if they pack a flavor punch and have goodies floating in the broth.  Oh yes.  And there are also soups with a bit of body that are perfectly satisfying and suitable to the heat.  They might be loaded with fresh seafood.  Or, like this one, they might thoroughly embrace the glorious vegetables of summer.  Plus, this isn't a labor-over-a-hot-stove kind of soup.
Soup and sandwich?  While perfectly fitted for the cold winter months or the chilly in-between months (if we ever get those anymore), can also be my favorite summer month meal.  Make it half a sandwich...remember we're thinking meals that aren't as heavy.

Am I convincing anyone?  Go ahead all ye soup-in-the-summer naysayers.  Give it a go.

Emerald Corn Soup

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: simmer soup/stew vegetarian nut-free corn chiles tomatillos Mexican

Ingredients (serves 4-6 (~6 cups))
    roasted tomatillo salsa:
    • 14 oz. tomatillos, husked & rinsed
    • 1 (~1 oz.) jalapeño or serrano, stemmed
    • 1 small onion, peel & sliced into thick strips
    • 3 fat garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • water, as needed
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • palmful of cilantro, chopped
    soup:
    • 1 small onion, rough chop
    • 1 large poblano, stemmed, seeded, rough chop
    • 1 Tbs. olive oil
    • 2 c. (from 3 ears corn) fresh corn kernels
    • 2 c. roasted tomatillo salsa (see above)
    • 2½ c. chicken stock or broth
    • 2 Tbs. masa harina
    • ¼ c. cold water
    • salt, as needed
    to garnish:
    • cilantro, chopped
    • corn tortillas, very thinly sliced & fried until crispy
    Instructions
    make the salsa (yield: 2 c.):
    Heat a comal or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Toast them, turning occasionally, until they are soft and have splotchy black spots on them. Garlic and onion may get done first, simply remove them from the comal and continue cooking tomatillos and chile until done. Peel the garlic cloves and place them into the jar of a blender along with the other charred veggies. Blend until you have a smooth puree. You should about 2 cups; if you have less, add water to make 2 cups. Season with salt and stir in cilantro. Reserve salsa.

    making the soup:
    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, ~5 minutes. Scrape them into a blender jar. Add half of the corn and all of the reserved salsa. Blend to a smooth puree. Set a medium-mesh strainer over the soup pot and pour the mixture through.
    Add the chicken stock to the blender jar and pulse a couple of times to get all of the flavor and goodness left behind. Pour this through the strainer, as well. Press down to get all of the liquid out. Discard solids.

    Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

    Combine masa harina and cold water in a small bowl, stirring until the masa harina is dissolved. Stir into the simmering soup. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes to thicken up a bit (to the consistency of a cream soup). Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in remaining corn and cook for another minute.

    Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with some chopped cilantro. I also think that thinly sliced and fried tortilla strips would make the perfect garnish.

    inspired by and adapted from Salsas That Cook
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    24 comments

    1. I'm on board for soups in summer, no convincing needed. I love the name of this soup, and the chile, cilantro and tomatillos seem like great companions for the corn. Oh, and I wouldn't mind a bowl of that salsa with some chips.

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    2. Love this Heather! I am a year-round soup kind of girl and I love corn. So happy this is light and cream free. Definitely will be making it!

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    3. I'm totally sold! This soup sounds amazing, Heather! You're always opening up my mind to new possibilities, flavors and food combinations. Love that!

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    4. Love the idea of using tomatillo salsa in corn soup - brilliant!

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    5. It's days like this when I'm pretty sure you can read my mind! We had a corn soup for lunch today, but no salsa verde. :( Will have to try this in a couple of days. Sounds absolutely scrumptious. :)

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    6. Wow, your soup looks really delicious! Wish to put that spoonful right into my mouth! I can never find tomatillo over here, I'm looking into the possibilities of growing my own!
      You are right, the Cheddar Cheese Bread would go really well with your delicious soup!

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    7. An Everyday CookJuly 14, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      what a great way to use summer corn and I love all the south of the border ingredients. can't wait to try it.

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    8. Tomatillos rock my world. This soup sounds absolutely divine. And if anyone gives you grief for soup in summer, just say it's not soup....it's "warm thin salsa verde" lol

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    9. This looks amazing! On the practical side, it is also a good way to use all the summer corn. I like the way that you plated - or I guess "bowled" - it!

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    10. Dear Heather, This is a soup I would love. I just love the bit of heat in the soup and the flavors of summer. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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    11. This looks excellent. I just found corn on the cob at a market nearby (it's a rarity where I live) and I may have to give this a try!

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    12. I love soup year round and this looks very nice :-)

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    13. What gorgeous, flavorful soup!!! I'm going nuts buying corn on the cob...and I need to reserve one for this recipe. And I never realized you're in South Bend...my birthplace, though we moved out of state when I was 6 months old. We're in Indy now :)

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    14. I make a lot of soup in the summer: corn of course, as your lovely recipe shows, is a great soup leader and then there are other vegetables as well. So, go soup!

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    15. Oh cool, so we're still fairly close. I don't know many other Indiana (or area) bloggers!

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    16. Confession - I made soup this week also! And loved every slurp of it! I love how you've combined one of my favorite summer veggies (corn) with SO MUCH GREEN. That has to be a good thing.

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    17. Perfect soup for summer. Looks gorgeous!

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    18. Of course you know you have no arguments with me on soup in the summer! ;-) I have been wanting to try this one--it looks so wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

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    19. I love soup in any season and your looks fantastic! I am jealous of your tomatillo's. I didn't grow them this year and they are difficult to find around here.

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    20. acookgrowsinbrooklynJuly 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Have had tomatillos and corn on the brain for the past week - was even thinking of throwing a corn chowder up on the blog, but this recipe looks too good to pass up. I'm staring at some ears of corn this very moment and they know their days are numbered.

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    21. Oh how I wish we could get wonderful fresh corn like you have used here in the UK - the photograph is making my mouth water. They don't understand corn in the UK - big tough yellow cobs are sold with the ends cut off and it's shrink wrapped. It then gets boiled or grilled to death. I miss fresh corn so much! Like you, I love soup all year round, but I am especially loving it this 'summer' as it is so cold and wet. Your emerald corn soup looks like summer in a bowl, so bright and fresh. I love the richness and depth of the flavours and spices you have used.

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    22. You had me at tomatillos, My husband I and are both huge soup fans, but I always feel like making it during the summer is wrong somehow . . . I think I can feel more than okay about making this one.

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