I am one of those people that has mixed feelings about Summer. The one side of Summer that I love are the farmer’s markets with all the fruits and vegetables you can enjoy during this season. But there is that other side that I am not very fond of, and that is the heat. You know, those days when the thermometer reaches above 90 degrees with lots of humidity. When we have those hot days here in the East Coast, I keep myself indoors, or as my mom will say, “inside the fridge”, as if I were a ham that will spoil outside in the hot weather. But, I can’t complain; this year has been marvelous, let me say it again, marvelous. I am talking 60-65 degrees in the morning hours, feels more like spring. So far so good. But going back to the first reason of liking Summer, the many fruits and vegetables available. You find all kinds of vegetables showing up all at once at the market and you are tempted to take them all home. So, here is a recipe for you to enjoy several times this summer in a bowl.
Sopa de Milpa, typical on the central states of Mexico, literally translates as Corn Field Soup. Milpa is the parcel of land where corn is grown in Mexico. Mesoamerica ethnic groups wanted to be self-sufficient regarding their food. They created this type of farming system called Milpa. Milpa in Nahuatl means “place for farming”. In one piece of land they planted corn, beans and peppers, all together formed the milpa. The combination of Corn, beans and peppers form a complete protein. Ideal for those days when you want a meatless meal. Growing along the corn, beans and peppers there are other vegetables like squash, tomatoes and tomatillos. And in rainy season, some other edible plants grow along the corn rows. These edible plants, besides rich in vitamins and minerals called “quelites”provide a good source of fiber. Some of these plants are purslane or lambsquartes.
Go to your local farmers market and enjoy the summer produce bounty while it last.SERVES 6
- 2 Poblano Peppers Roasted, cleaned and cut into stripes.
- 2 1/2 cups of cup kernels (From 2 corn ears)
- 2 Epazote leaves
- 2 cups of water
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- 2 1/2 Cups of Squash or zucchini (about 2 medium size squash)
- 6 cups Chicken broth
- 12 Squash blossoms, cleaned and stems removed.
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cup Panela Cheese or Queso Fresco.
- If you do not find all the ingredients listed above substitute with vegetables in season in your area.
- For cheese substitution look for a firm and fresh cheese
1. First gather and prepare all your ingredients, this soup cooks quickly once you have everything ready. Roast the Poblano peppers over the flame, let them sweat inside a plastic bag or wrapped in a kitchen towel. Rub the peppers with your finger to remove the charred skins or use a kitchen towel to remove the skins, make a slit lengthwise and discard the seeds. Pat dry and cut into stripes. Have onion and garlic chopped.
1. In a medium size saucepan place the corn, 2 cups of water and epazote leaves. Cook on medium heat fro about 10 minutes.
2. While the corn is cooking, add the vegetable oil and butter to a large pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion start to get a slightly golden color.
3. Add the squash or zucchini to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. By this time corn is almost ready.
4. Pour corn and its cooking liquid into the pot with the zucchini and onion mix.
5. Add the Poblano , squash blossoms and chicken broth to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes. When all vegetables are almost done, taste to season with salt.
Serve hot garnish with cheese and along some warm corn tortillas. ¡Buen provecho!