Harvest cornpatch soup: Sopa de milpa

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Milpa means “cornfield,” and this soup incorporates not only corn, but a medley of other Tlaxcalan produce abundant at this time of year. Although fresh nopales are preferable, they are available canned in north-of-the-border supermarkets. This can be served as a first course at dinner, or makes an ideal autumn lunch or light supper, accompanied by a salad and warm tortillas or bolillos (French rolls.)


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coarsley chopped zucchini squash blossoms
  • 1-2 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and peeled, and cut into strips
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup cooked lima beans
  • 2 cups diced, cooked and rinsed nopales
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped epazote
  • Salt to taste

Melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion becomes soft.

Add the squash blossoms, chiles, corn, beans and nopales and continue to saute another 1-2 minutes.

Add the stock, increase heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer the soup 8 minutes, add the epazote and simmer another 2 minutes.

Add salt to taste.

Serves 4-6.

Link to source articles
The cuisine of Tlaxcala: food and tradition in central Mexico
Corn, beans and squash: the life cycle of the milpa

Published or Updated on: August 1, 1998 by Karen Hursh Graber © 1998
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