Cookbook author and television personality Carla Hall (you probably know her from “The Chew” on ABC) has just the recipe to make use of tomatoes and corn, both now at their seasonal peak.
It’s a colorful corn chowder enlivened ever so lightly with a trio of Mexican flavors — cumin, chili and epazote, a funky and aromatic oregano-like herb. It’s one of the first dishes she made in her first restaurant job at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., she writes in her cookbook, “Carla’s Comfort Foods.”
The dish adjusted her perception of what a corn soup should look like. Up to that point, she thought that corn chowder should be yellow. But because this one includes tomatoes and chilies, it’s tinted red.
For a light summer meal, serve the soup with a leafy green salad and a loaf of really great bread.
From “Carla’s Comfort Foods” by Carla Hall (Atria Books, 2014)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried epazote or oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground Mexican chili, such as ancho
- 1 small yuca or potato, peeled and finely diced
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 4 cups diced tomatoes
- 5 ears corn, husks and silks removed, kernels cut off and reserved, cobs reserved
- Mexican crema or sour cream, for serving (optional)
- For serving: Lime wedges, avocado slices, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add cumin, epazote or oregano and chili.Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add yuca or potato, broth, tomatoes with their juices, and corn cobs. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the yuca is tender, about 30 minutes.
Add corn kernels and cook just until heated through and still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Discard corn cobs.
Using an immersion blender or stand blender (working in batches if necessary), puree about half the soup until thickened. It should be creamy but still have bits of vegetables throughout. Stir puree into remaining soup. Serve with the crema or sour cream, lime, avocado and cilantro. Serves 6.
Nutritional information unavailable.