More often than not, I find myself making soups for dinner. I like that preparation requires very few dishes and as a result, clean up is a breeze. Soups are something that you can make ahead of time and heat up the next day, and the best part is that the flavor is usually better when they sit overnight. I love coming home from a day at school knowing that a warm and tasty bowl of soup will be waiting for me.
Recently, I came across a cookbook titled Mexican Flavors: Contemporary Recipes from Camp San Miguel. While the recipes in the book are not traditional per say, they also aren’t your standard Tex-Mex fare either (sorry Texans). Rather, these recipes use ingredients typically found in Mexican markets and ones that are easily accessible to American cooks and combine them in creative ways to make delicious dishes. When I saw the recipe for this Coconut-Ancho Soup, I knew I had to give it a try. I love creamy soups, but sometimes I’m not a fan of how heavy they feel in your stomach afterwards. By using coconut milk instead of dairy, the soup is not only lighter, but it also has a tropical undertone, and if you know me, you can be sure that I’m always looking for ways to add a little more beach vibe to my everyday life!
I absolutely love the way the chile ancho paints this soup a fiery red-orange! Who would ever think that those dark, raisin-looking chiles would have such a beautiful color?! I also appreciate the addition of the blackened corn in this recipe. It tastes exactly like grilled corn on the cob and beckons thoughts of breezy summer nights.
Sopa de coco con chile ancho, elotes rostizados, y champiñones
Click here for printable recipe.
Soup Base – Makes 4 servings
- 2 dried ancho chiles*
- 4 cups coconut milk*
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 serrano chile, chopped including seeds
- 1 large (or 2 small) clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Zest of 1 lime, then cut into wedges to serve with soup
- 1 ½ tsp salt
→Remove stem, seeds, and veins from the ancho chiles. Rip them into 6 pieces. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the ancho chiles, coconut milk, broth, serrano chile, garlic, lime zest, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, but do NOT let the soup boil. Then turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for 1 hour.
→Pour the soup into a blender. You may need to do this in two batches. Blend on high speed for one minute. Then, return to the pot. Add the additional ½ teaspoon of salt and stir.
Corn and Mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups organic or non-GMO sweet corn*
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. mushrooms (about 8 small ones), cut into slices.
→Spread the corn on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven under the broiler for 10 minutes until the corn is blistery and slightly blackened. Add corn to the coconut-chile broth.
→In a small frying pan, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they soften and become slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add to the coconut-chile broth.
- Cilantro to garnish
- Lime wedges
→Serve the soup warm with lime wedges and chopped cilantro to taste.
- You can find dried ancho chiles at a grocery store selling Latin products or in the Latin aisle of your local grocery store. If you don’t know where to find a good Mexican grocer, call your local Mexican restaurant, and they might be able to point you in the right direction. Dried chiles are very easy to work and also fairly cheap. So, don’t be afraid to give them a try! They add so much flavor.
- I used two 13.5 oz cans of Trader Joe’s organic reduced-fat coconut milk.
- Please use organic or non-GMO corn whenever possible. You can read about why it’s SO important to choose non-GMO corn here. I found my organic sweet corn at Trader Joe’s.
Recipe adapted from Mexican Flavors: Contemporary Recipes from Camp San Miguel