This week’s recipe makes an appearance on my dinner table often. This recipe combines the flavors of your favorite southwest meals with the seafood of the Gulf of Mexico! And of course, it’s really easy to prepare in under 30 minutes for a wholesome meal for the family.
There are two ways to prepare this meal. One is by going “all out” and shaving your own corn off of the cob. And the other is the “hurry up I’m hungry” version with canned corn. Although I use canned corn quite often, the advantage of using the corn straight from the cob is evident in the overall taste, as well as the usage of the shaved cob in the soup. Boiling the cob gives the broth more flavor during the simmering phase.
Another great thing about this starchy soup is it allows a lot of versatility with spices and protein. You can add spicy crawfish and season it accordingly, or you can use shrimp with a southwestern kick. I also tend to add bread as a side and top it off with fresh cilantro and avocado.
When I add seafood to a soup, I personally hate how tough and unflavored shrimp can become if thrown in raw and left to the heat of the liquid. I prefer to grill or blacken my shrimp before placing them in the soup at the very end of the preparation. That way, I have more control on the seafood’s tenderness and taste. It makes a very big difference in the overall taste in the end.
Don’t be afraid to experiment past what I list below. You may surprise yourself with the results (hopefully for the better).
Seafood Corn Soup
3-4 cobs of corn or 2 cans of sweet corn
1 yellow onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 tbsp butter or 1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
A bunch of cilantro
1 lb fresh seafood of your choice
1 lime, with zest
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Blackening seasoning (if using shrimp)
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: It helps to have a submersible blender, but a food processor can also work
Directions: Start by melting butter or placing oil in a medium sized pot at medium-high heat. After preheating, place the onion into the oil and let it soften for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Next, place the corn and garlic into the mixture and allow to roast for 3-4 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Reduce heat to medium low, and add seasoning (1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning, 2 tsp of salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp of chili powder). I like to add red pepper flakes as well and some dashes Louisiana hot sauce for an added kick. Stir this in well and add chicken broth.
Allow the mixture to come back to boil, and then simmer on medium to medium low heat for 25-30 minutes, allowing the seasonings to concentrate and set into the starch. During this time, if you have the corn cobs, you can boil them in the mixture and remove them at the end.
For shrimp: While your soup cooks, peel and remove the veins on your shrimp. Season with blackening seasoning and grill until tender, but not overcooked. Set aside. Coarsely chop cilantro and set aside.
Once soup has simmered well, add cilantro, cheese, heavy cream, and squeeze your lime into the soup. Take a cheese grater and add lime zest for extra flavor at this stage.j Now use submersible blender to mix the ingredients and blend the corn into thick soup. At this point, you can add your seafood (shrimp or crawfish). Mix in well and let simmer for 1-2 minutes before serving.
I like to add avocado, cilantro, and bread to finish off the soup. Enjoy!