latin corn soup

September 6, 2010

What to do with fall’s bounty? My parents came home from their cottage yesterday. On their way they stopped at a farmer’s market and, as is want to happen, they bought way too much stuff because it all looked so fresh and tasty. They came over to say hi and brought a dozen ears of corn to add to the half dozen I had just bought at the farmers’ market in the city that morning! So being up to my ears in ears of corn I decided to make corn soup and corn, peach, and tomato salsa. When trying a new recipe I always make just one batch in case I don’t like it. But when I hit on a successful recipe, like this one, I always wish I had made two or three!

2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 tsps olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh chile, minced

2 tsps ground coriander

1 1/2 tsps dried oregano

1 tsp salt

2 cups veggie stock

1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes

2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 14-oz can coconut milk

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (4 – 5 ears)

2 tbsps lime juice

2 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

avocado cubes (optional)

In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic, chile, coriander, oregano, and salt and stir constantly for a minute. Stir in the veggie stock and radishes, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionly, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

When the vegetables are tender, add the the coconut milk, tomatoes, and corn and bring back to a simmer, stirring occasionly. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Top each serving with ripe avocado cubes, if you wish.

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

This recipe is from the Tassajara cookbook. I made it last night – Friday night, after a long week, it was getting late, didn’t have a tonne of motivation, wondered about pulling some shriveled left-overs out of the fridge, but instead I dug in, bucked up, and pulled out the necessary ingredients for this veggie Thai red curry. I’m so glad I did. It was quick. It was easy. It was yummy. Andrew’s reaction? “It’s kind of hard bothering to eat meat when you’ve got food like this. And kind of hard to justify going out for Thai food. That was ridiculously good.” I made one batch since I hadn’t made it before and, post-dinner, we concluded that I should have doubled or tripled it.

Since it was the end of the week and I hadn’t refreshed the supplies for a couple of days, I didn’t have exactly the “right” ingredients so I made some substitutions – tomatoes for red pepper, sugar snap peas for beans, shitake mushrooms for crimini. It worked beautifully so my guess is that you could probably throw in any veggies and it would be awesome. This one’s a keeper for sure.

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 cup green beans, stems removed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup crimini mushrooms, ends trimmed

1 14-oz can coconut milk

1 – 2 tbsps Thai red curry paste

2 tbsps brown sugar

2 tbsps tamari

1 small sweet red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into slivers

20 – 30 fresh Thai basil leaves, whole

In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch the cauliflower to al dente, about 4 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. In the same pot of water, repeat with the green beans; set aside. In a saute pan, add the oil and cook the mushrooms until they’re browned and have released some juices; set aside.

In a wide saucepan, add the coconut milk,  sugar, and tamari. Add the curry paste – start with a small amount of curry paste and then taste for spiciness. Add more as desired. Add the cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, red pepper, and half the basil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil and serve with rice.