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.
Mexican Zucchini Corn Soup – Sopa de Calabacitas y Elote
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced small
4 cups zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups corn (about 3 cobs)
1 cup zucchini, diced finely
1/4 cup crema Mexicana or cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a medium stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil and onions – saute until onions become translucent. Add 4 cups zucchini – saute for several minutes until the zucchini barely start to brown and begin to become tender. Add garlic – saute about one minute, stirring frequently so that it does not burn. Add stock and salt – bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until zucchini is completely tender.
- Puree with a hand emulsifier (or blender in batches).
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix about 1 cup of the pureed soup with the crema (cream) – mix well with a whisk or the emulsifier to incorporate. Slowly return the creamy mixture to the soup, mixing well.
- Add the corn and finely diced zucchini – simmer another 5 minutes – until the zucchini are barely tender. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot or room temperature as a first course or side, garnished with fresh cilantro. For an extra elegant presentation, also garnish with a fresh zucchini flower (flor de calabaza).
Protein: add shrimp or white fish