This is a traditional recipe also known as Sopa de Milpa. It uses the fresh ingredients that are grown in and around a Milpa, or corn field. I met Jacques Pépin at La Tulipe when I was 17 and he was the guest chef for a week. The fresh and delicious flavors that he brought to that menu remain with me still. His coffee crème brûlée was the best I’ve ever had—and I got to meet Claudine! Another red head!
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup sweet onion, cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 cup lita squash or zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels purée
- 2 dozen squash blossoms, stems trimmed, and blossoms coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground white or black pepper
- 2 quarts chicken, vegetable, or corn stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup crema, for garnish (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 3 squash blossoms, for garnish
- 3 epazote leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Heat a 4-quart stock pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sweat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the squash and corn kernels and continue to cook until the squash becomes translucent and aromatic, about 2-4 minutes. Be careful not to brown or crisp. Add the stock, puréed corn, thyme, marjoram, and pepper, and simmer, stirring until the corn and squash are cooked, but not too tender. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning.
- To serve: Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with a half a squash blossom and cilantro or epazote leaves. Drizzle with crema. Serve immediately.