After just one sip of this soup, we decided to make a second batch rather than a second course.
You'll understand when you try it. The subtle blend of spices -- a pinch of both curry and coriander -- brings the soup a warmth that is muted by the creaminess of coconut milk. The initial heat, however, gives way to a sweetness from the pureed corn kernels. (If end-of-season sweet corn isn't quite sweet enough, add a drizzle of honey to the soup prior to blending.)
Servings: 2 - 4
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns or pinch coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 pinches curry powder
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels, preferably white corn (from about 8 ears)
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, cover and heat, stirring once or twice, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. (This technique, which almost amounts to steaming the vegetable, is called sweating.)
Meanwhile, place the coriander and peppercorns or pepper in a tea ball or tie them in a small piece of cheesecloth. (This isn't necessary, but it allows for easy removal later; the consequence of not removing them is to bite into a coriander seed.) Set aside.
Add the curry to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the coriander and peppercorns, corn and stock or broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cover and set aside for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
Transfer all but 1 cup of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. If desired, strain the mixture, using the back of a spoon to press as much liquid through as possible and discarding the solids. Add the reserved 1 cup of soup to the strained soup and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe in the September/October 1999 issue of Saveur Magazine.
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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