Calabaza, Corn and Coconut Soup

For all you soup lovers out there–perfectly timed during these unseasonably cold first days of Spring…

My sister, Julie, and her friend Darcy, hosted their very own Soup’s On! competition last night in Salt Lake City.  Anne Carson was the grand prize winner with this delicious sounding recipe from Epicurious, which originally ran in the February 2005 issue of the now defunct Gourmet magazine.

The soup won rave reviews at the party and received “4 forks” on Epicurious. I can’t wait to try it myself!

Calabaza, Corn, and Coconut Soup

Calabaza, Corn and Coconut Soup
Serves 8
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For soup
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
  4. 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  5. 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  6. 1 (2 1/4-pound) piece calabaza squash or 1 (2 1/2-pound) whole kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (6 cups) (Anne Carson used butternut squash)
  7. 4 cups water (AC used chicken broth)
  8. 1 1/4 cups well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (12 ounces)
  9. 3 ears of corn (fresh or thawed frozen), kernels cut off and reserved for relish (below) and cobs halved crosswise
  10. 2 teaspoons salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
For corn relish
  1. 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. Pinch of sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 cups corn kernels (see above)
  6. 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  1. Make soup: Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften and edges are browned, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro stems, garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add squash pieces and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Stir in water (or broth), coconut milk, corn cobs, salt, and cayenne and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare corn relish while soup simmers: Whisk together lime juice, salt, and sugar in a bowl, then add oil and whisk until combined.  Cook corn kernels in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well, then transfer to dressing along with cilantro and shallot and toss well to coat.
  3. Finish soup: Discard corn cobs, then purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until smooth, transferring to a 2-quart measure.  Divide soup among bowls and gently stir 1/4 cup corn relish into each.
Adapted from Gourmet, February 2005
Adapted from Gourmet, February 2005
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