Humita is one of my favourite foods from my country of origin, Argentina. It is a typical dish from the Andes region consisting of creamy maize (corn) paste, prepared with onion, pepper, grated maize, milk, cheese and spices. In the North-west country it is served boiled inside a square package made with the maize husks, known as “Humita en Chala“. All around the country it is more commonly use as empanadas (a typical pastry) filling, in pies and even sandwiches. This is how I used to enjoyed it when I lived there and now I cook empanandas de humita every now and then, when I’m really craving for that unique flavour, not so often since is quite time-consuming and calorific.
But the other evening I thought: and why not an humita soup? and here it is, delicious and slightly more guilt-free than empanadas! The cauliflower addition, which turned out really well, I must confess was only because I had a head asking for help in my fridge and I decided to use it to add some healthy veggie to the mix. And since I’m in a confession mood, here’s another one: I never use fresh corn to make my humita and I don’t grate it either. In an ideal world you would boil corn cobs and then grate them; I just use frozen or even tinned corn and a blender to make the paste. Let’s try it?
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 cauliflower head, florets separated and steamed
- a dash of olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 & 1/2 cup sweet maize/corn (frozen or tinned)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup skinny milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- Sweet paprika to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- oregano to taste
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- Fresh grated cheese to serve (I used Emmental)
Put the cauliflower florets to steam. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a cooking pot, add the garlic, chilli, onion and red pepper and sauté until soft. Put in the maize and mix. Turn down the heat to medium-low, add the flour and stir to combine with the rest of ingredients. Continue by pouring the milk and stir continuously until the sauce have thickened and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Pour the stock, add sweet paprika, pepper flakes, oregano and stir in the spring onion. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Finish by adding the steamed cauliflower and purée the mix with an immersion blender.
Serve with cheese and enjoy a taste of South America!