Mexican Corn Soup

Posted By Kerri

I spotted some pancetta bones for sale at Union Market a little while ago and thought they would be brilliant for adding flavour to soups and casseroles. It was mid July at the time and definitely not soup or casserole weather but the seasons seemed to have changed very quickly this year and, almost without warning, it’s time to embrace the colder evenings and get down to some Autumnal cooking. This isn’t something that fills me with much pleasure, I don’t like the colder months and try to hang on to Summer for as long as I can. The one thing which makes that transition a little easier is the arrival of different produce and the opportunity to start cooking all those things that you’ve been craving but don’t want to eat when it’s hot outside.

It might just be coincidence but the arrival of the cooler weather has coincided with my feeling like I’ve got a cold coming so I thought some chilli would be a good way to clear my head. The chilli oil from this Mexican soup was really good so I made some of that while the pancetta bones were boiling away and becoming stock.

The result was pretty good: the pancetta bones had made plenty or richly flavoured porky stock which formed the base of the soup and was echoed in the bacon we added at the end. There was fresh chilli cooked with the garlic and onions as well as dried chillies in the oil which, alongside lots of freshly ground cumin, provided a good counterpart to the super-sweet corn and it all worked together to form a cohesive dish. I would have preferred slightly less sweetness though and shouldn’t have allowed the onions to caramelise or used the sweet cure bacon which can add too much sweetness. Not a bad way to welcome Autumn although I couldn’t help thinking I would have preferred that corn hot from the barbecue, eaten outside with some chilli butter.

Mexican Corn Soup
Serves Two (with a little left over for lunch)

4 rashers bacon, diced
3 heads of corn, hulled
1 onion, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 litre stock

Start by frying the bacon until the fat has rendered. Remove from the pan and blot on some kitchen paper.

In the same pan, fry the corn for about five minutes, or until soft. Remove from the pan and blot on some kitchen paper.

Add some more oil to the pan if necessary and add the onion. Cook for about five minutes before adding the chilli and garlic. Cook for another couple of minutes.

Next, add the cumin, stir and cook for about two minutes.

Add the corn back to the pan, pour on the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, blend until smooth, add the bacon and serve with the chilli oil.

Chilli Oil

2 dried chillies (I used ancho, the book specified pasilla), stemmed and seeded
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano

Cut the chillies into 1/8 inch slices. Heat the oil over a medium heat, add chillies and the oregano and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, 1.5 tablespoons of water and a little salt. Leave to stand for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Sep 18th, 2010

2 Comments to 'Mexican Corn Soup'

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  1. This looks lovely and such a beautiful colour. I agree with you that the time as come when hot hearty food is called for. And this seems like a very good transition from Summer to Autumn.

    How much corn did you get from the three heads? I go and pick some every week, but generally we eat them cooked on the cob as a starter. So for a soup I’d probably use tinned corn.


  2. Kerri said,

    Thank you 🙂

    I’m not sure how much exactly since we didn’t weigh it but it filled a large cereal bowl. I hadn’t thought about using tinned corn but I’m sure it would work well.

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