We’re Cooking: Coconut Corn Soup

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Yes, soup may not be your go to for summertime fare, but this beauty can be served hot or cold, and top with either jumbo lump crab meat if served cold, or fluffy popcorn (served on the side to be added at the very last moment before enjoying) if served hot. We had a version of this at the beautiful Banyan Tree Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, though I think Chef included a healthy dash of cream and butter to make his dreamy and super rich. Optional for you to add as well if your waist line can afford it. Perfect for quick dinners paired with a creamy, luscious California Chardonnay, like Cakebread Chardonnay or a floral Viognier, like one from Miner.

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Recipe:

Coconut Corn Soup
Ingredients:
4 ears of sweet summer corn, shucked, cleaned
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 hot red Thai or Hawaiian chili, stem removed and minced or 1 teaspoon Sambal
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lime + 1/2 lime more if serving with fresh crab
salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
2 14 ounce cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro + more if serving with fresh crab
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil + more if serving with fresh crab
4 ounces jumbo lump crab meat, well picked through or 3 ounces of fluffy salted popcorn
Optional: 1 cup heavy cream to add at the end with 1 tablespoon butter, mix in after you have blended the soup, but before you chill it if you are serving it cold. Stir well before serving once chilled.

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Preparation:
If you are going to chill the soup, it can be made a day in advance to chill through. Otherwise, making the day of if fine. Rub the corn with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided amongst the 4 cobs. Place on a grill over medium and grill until nicely charred. You can also cut the corn from the cob, set the cobs aside, and add it to a skillet on its own with 1 tablespoon oil and blister and char it slightly in the pan over medium-high heat. You want it to create a smoky, earthy flavor, enhancing the sweetness of the corn. After the corn is cooked, set aside to cool slightly then cut it from the cob. Set aside. Add the remaining olive oil to a dutch oven or soup pot over medium low. Add the onion, turning to coat, and cook until slightly softened. Add the garlic, pepper and ginger, turning to coat and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the corn and lime, season generously with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, turning into the other ingredients. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated. Pour out the corn mixture into a bowl and set aside. Add the stock and corn cobs that had been set aside to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cobs and discard. Add the corn mixture to the soup. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the coconut milk. Simmer until fully incorporated. Add the herbs and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Turn the heat off.

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Using an immersion blender puree the soup until creamy, with as little or as much texture as you like. Serve the soup warm or pour into an air tight container and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight. If serving with crab fold in a touch of chopped basil and cilantro, along with a healthy squeeze of lime juice, and a dash of salt and pepper. Pile in the center of each plate and serve the soup around it.

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