I’m back after taking a bit of a hiatus attending to family matters. Finding resources for young adults on the autistic spectrum is a no-joke venture! Bumpy spring aside, I still cooked, wrote, photographed and traveled. I just couldn’t seem to pull it all together into coherent blog posts. Now that things have settled down a bit I can’t wait to share all the summer recipes and stories I’ve been stockpiling!
Bountiful summer corn seems like the perfect place to start…
Summer is the only time of year I make certain corn dishes including: sweet creamed corn, (click here for recipe), butter bean, corn, tomato and vidalia onion succotash, (click here for recipe), corn pudding, classic corn chowder and vegetarian Indian-Spiced Creamy Corn Soup. The flavor of young fresh summer corn, also called green corn, is essential. Using frozen or canned corn for any of these treats is hardly worth the effort.
My family jokingly refers to the food I eat as bird food because I err on the side of fruit and vegetables. To compromise with their meat and carb-centric orientation, I make a hearty side salad for myself and serve it alongside the meaty dinners I make for them most nights.
I also make weekly batches of seasonal vegetable soups for my own lunches. I can tell what my favorite soups are because my freezer ends up overflowing with them. Vegetarian Indian-spiced creamy corn soup seems to always be in my freezer for the days I need the comfort of a sweetly spiced light and smooth summer lunch. The distinct Indian spice and corn flavor never lets me down.
I’ve been making this soup for decades yet my typed recipe gives no indication what recipe inspired mine. When I did a little sleuthing through my dozens of soup cookbooks, it appears my recipe has been adapted from a recipe in my most timeless and well-worn soup cookbook: James Peterson’s Splendid Soups published in 1993. This makes sense because he taught me at Peter Kumps in the 80s. Jerome Audureau’s Curried Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk from their cookbook Once Upon a Tart, published in 2003, is also similar to James Peterson’s Indian-style corn soup…and I would imagine theirs may also have been inspired by his because I couldn’t find any recipe for curried corn soup before 1993.
My recipe includes a quick curried corn broth to accentuate and deepen the subtle flavors in the soup. I learned the technique of adding more substance to vegetarian soup by making soup-specific broths in Deborah Madison’s cookbook Vegetable Soups, published in 2006.
Vegetarian Indian-spiced creamy corn soup is a breeze to make and can be served cold, room temperature or warmed. It’s best made in the summer with the freshest corn you can find.
Vegetarian Indian-Spiced Creamy Corn Soup
2 Tbs peanut oil to saute vegetables (grapeseed oil can also be used)
1 cup diced red onion
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp minced garlic
6 cups corn broth (recipe below)
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
4 cups fresh corn kernels, including any corn “milk” you can extract from scraping the corn cob with the back of the knife after the kernels have been removed from about 8 ears of corn.
1 Tbs peanut oil (ghee or clarified butter can also be used and soup will still be vegetarian, just not vegan)
1 Tbs mild or sweet curry powder (OR 1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander, cumin, 1 sweet paprika, and garam masala)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
- In large saucepan heat 2 Tbs peanut oil. Add red onion, salt, black pepper and pepper flakes and cook 7 to 8 minutes until softened.
- Add garlic and heat 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add corn broth, sugar, coconut milk, and corn kernels. Bring to simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Gently heat 1 Tbs peanut oil (or ghee if using) in smallest saucepan you have. Add curry powder and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Watch carefully so butter and spices do not burn.
- Remove from heat and add to corn soup along with lemon juice and cilantro to corn soup.
- When soup is cooled to room temperature puree in blender until smooth.
- Garnish with blanched corn kernels or chopped cilantro.
8 corn cobs (kernels removed for soup)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped potato
1 Tbs diced fresh or candied ginger
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green cardamom pod
½ cup chopped cilantro (including stems and leaves)
10 cups cold water
- Add all ingredients to large saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain over a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids with back of spoon to extract as much flavor as possible.