Posts Tagged ‘calabacita’

Zucchini: Mexican Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup – Sopa de Calabacitas

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It’s hinting of fall here in Colorado – crisp mornings and more frequent cool evenings. During the day, there’s still plenty of sunshine to keep my garden growing. And, that of course, means more zucchini.

This recipe for sopa de calabacitas y elote, Mexican zucchini corn soup, is simple and perfect for an almost-fall evening.

The recipe is mine but was inspired by a creamy zucchini soup I ate many, many years ago in Cuernavaca, Mexico. At the time, I left my gig in Austin, Texas to study and travel in Mexico. It was a life-changing experience – my first time traveling abroad. I lived part of the time with a local family and lucky for me, in addition to improving my Spanish, I dined on some amazing food.

I credit Josephina, the mujer de the casa (lady of the house), with introducing me to a vast repertoire of Mexican cuisine. She made exquisite meals every day – sometimes made with fancy ingredients and preparations and other times simple. Our main meal of the day was served early afternoon and almost always started with sopa (soup).

One day she prepared a creamy zucchini soup that I immediately adored – simple, light and comforting.

Her version was a pureed zucchini with stock and cream (which could easily be adapted from the recipe below). My version has additional texture from the corn and diced zucchini, plus fresh cilantro.

Enjoy summer’s bounty these last few weeks.


Zucchini: Mexican Succotash – Calabacitas Con Elote

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Calabacitas con Elote - H

Zucchini? Yes, zucchini. I’m launching my food blog with this humble, under-appreciated summer squash. Why? Because it’s used way, way too much to make stuff like zucchini bread (although I do make my own version). And, some folks are itching for another way to use all those zucchini that proliferate the gardens and markets this time of year. I know what you’re thinking . . . blah. But, you’re wrong.  It’s all about how it’s prepared.

In this recipe, the zucchini’s fresh, buttery taste is complimented by crisp corn kernels and the sweet juices of tomato and Mexican seasoning. It’s basically a succotash and it’s been served up in my family and other Mexican kitchens for generations.

This is comfort food more often eaten at home rather than in Mexican restaurants, especially those in the States, where the menu favors greasy, fried tacos over vegetables. This dish is just some of the healthy Mexican food I enjoy and it’s quick and easy to make. Of course there are many variations of calabacitas – some omit the corn, others the tomatoes. I like it with both.

Tidbits on Zucchini:

  1. Squash was domesticated as early as 10,000 B.P in central Mexico and Peru, as well as other parts of the Americas. As such, squash was an integral staple in Mexican cuisine, along with corn and beans, according to the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.
  2. The word calabacita is derived from the Spanish word calabaza, meaning squash; the diminutive “ita” changes the meaning to little squash.
  3. Zucchini is like the tomato – botanically a fruit but thought to be a veggie.