Sunday, April 3, 2011

Asian Corn Soup: Light, Healthy and Flavorful for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Even living in a climate where it is warm all year round, spring brings the feeling of wanting to lighten up. For me, in addition to healthier food and cooking it has meant doing little projects around the house like trying to sort and purge some of my stacks of food magazines that have been sitting around for far too long. I'd like to keep them all, but I live in a smallish place and I soon fear that the spare bedroom/office/hoarder storage room where most of said stacks live will likely someday take over the entire house unless something is done. I have been meeting my goal of sorting at least a dozen a week and one result in addition to more floorspace is unearthing some new recipes to try.

This soup recipe is one example--light, healthy and colorful, it's from Cooking Light magazine and Chef Alexandra Jamieson, holistic foods chef and wife of Morgan Spurlock, of "Supersize Me" documentary fame. She is credited with getting him back to health after his 30 day fast food diet with dishes like this one. It's a simple soup and very light, but full of some of my favorite flavors. With a few ears of fresh corn and other ingredients from the farmers market, it was a nice dinner starter for a noodle salad dish you will see on the blog this week.

Jamison says, "If you can't find fresh lemongrass, substitute strips of rind from one-half to one whole lemon. Serve as a side dish with stir-fried tofu and rice."

Asian Corn Soup
Chef Alexandra Jamieson, Cooking Light 11/07
(Yield: 6 Servings / Serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

4 ears corn
1 tsp canola oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups water
2 cups organic vegetable broth
12 sprigs cilantro
5 (1/8-inch thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and quartered
1 to 2 fresh lemongrass stalks, including bulb end, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
thinly sliced lime (optional)
thinly sliced jalapeno pepper (optional)

Cut corn kernels from ears of corn; set aside. Reserve cobs.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Cut each cob into 3 pieces. Add cobs, 4 cups of water, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth through a colander into a bowl; discard solids. Add corn kernels, juice, and salt to broth; stir to blend. Return soup to pan; simmer 5 minutes or until hot. Garnish with lime and jalapeno slices, if desired.

Nutritional Info: Calories 97 (18% from fat); Fat 19g (sat 0.2mg, mono 0.8g, poly 0.8g); Protein 3.1g; Carb 20g; Fiber 2.6g; Cholesterol 0mg; Iron 0.6mg; Sodium 300mg; Calcium 4mg

Notes/Results: Light and lovely, the broth takes on so much flavor from cooking it with all of the ingredients. The spice from the jalapenos and the tangy lime contrast nicely with the fresh sweet corn. I did add some lemon juice to the rest of the ingredients, but otherwise kept the recipe the same. If you wanted to make this soup more than a starter to a meal, adding some thin noodles, egg, some additional veggies or a little chicken would also be nice. Easy and tasty, with it's fresh Asian flavors and it makes the kitchen smell delicious--I will make it again.

There are a lot of soups, salads and sandwiches waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen, let's take a look.

Amritha of AK's Vegetarian World made a Creamy Carrot Soup and says, "My husband and I took a pranayam course here in San Diego couple of weeks back. It was for 3 days and of which one day, they provided lunch with us. They had this carrot soup that day which tasted out of the world. We all totally fell in love with the soup. My god! it tasted so good. From then I really wanted to make carrot soup at home and today I made it. It came out very well. I never thought carrot soup would taste so good. Am sure you will all like this too.."

After some nice weather, Janet from The Taste Space had a winter flare up this week so she whipped up a hearty stew and says, "While I am usually leery of making Japanese recipes from a non-Japanese cookbook, I still ventured to make a Japanese Winter Stew I found in Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health. ... This is a powerhouse of a winter stew, overflowing with vegetables, yet with the comforting miso taste but zippy from the chili flakes and ginger. It balances out so nicely, which is what Japanese cuisine is all about."

A big Souper Sunday welcome to Candy from Eating Well on the Road, joining us from Northern California and here with a Low Calorie Chicken Tortilla Soup. Candy says, "I'm the "low-sodium low-calorie gal" , so I try to remake favorite recipes to meet our needs. God knows I've had some failures along the way, but my low-calorie Chicken Tortilla Soup is a real winner. ... Now I like things a little on the spicy side, so you might want to cut back on the chili powder and hot pepper sauce if you prefer a milder taste." Welcome Candy!

Debbie from Debbi Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie made a satisfying Summer Squash and Corn Chowder and says, "I love a good corn chowder soup. It's comfort food all the way. Creamy, chunky, warm and hearty! What I don't like is all the calories. This soup is super low calorie and healthy. Instead of potatoes, we have summer squash. My husband never even noticed. No joke. He totally loved this."

Simona from briciole created a colorful Winter Squash and Carrot Soup and says, "I still have some winter squashes in my storage room, so here is another great soup I made with them and with carrots, of which I bought a bunch, greens and all, from the Temescal farmers' market in Oakland, a relatively small market that has interesting vendors and, most importantly, runs year-round. ... I have found that this soup profits from some rest, so I suggest you make it a few hours ahead, then reheat it. Serve with homemade bread and/or cheese crisps. The ones in the photo were made with my homemade Tilsit, which worked nicely."

Debby from A Feast for the Eyes has a hearty Short-Rib Soup with Mushrooms and Israeli Couscous and says, "I love making soups, year-round. It's fun for me to transform leftovers into a delicious soup. When I make pot roast, I always make souI. When I made the short rib recipe, I saved the vegetables that were used in the braising of the short ribs. I cut up the leftover short ribs and set them aside. Truthfully, I liked the soup almost more than the actually braised short rib dinner. The braising liquid is what makes the soup so rich and flavorful."

Another new face this week is Cathy from What Would Cathy Eat? who joins us from New York and with a sunny-hued bowl of Sweet Potato, Apple and Lentil Soup. She says, "I love root vegetable soups, but sometimes I feel like every soup with butternut squash or sweet potatoes tastes the same, with the sweetness of the vegetables being the dominant flavor. This time I wanted to make a more memorable soup, so I combined sweet potatoes with tart apples, leeks and lentils. I have to say, the result was crazy good." Welcome to Souper Sundays Cathy!

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes put her Donna Hay magazine subscription to good use with this beautiful salad. Pam says, "To be able to sit in a comfy chair, with a cup of tea, a glass of wine, or a gin and tonic, and browse through her gorgeous magazine, looking for inspiration and recipes is a joy to me. ... So, anyway, while browsing through issue #14, I found Warm Mushroom and Haloumi Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette. This was everything I dreamed it would be and more. And let me just say, that the warm vinaigrette may become my signature vinaigrette – it is that good!"

Julie of Little Bit of Everything tried Ina Garten's Chicken Salad recipe this week and says, "I love good chicken salad. Ina's recipe is just that and more, it's a great chicken salad. This salad is delicious served over crispy lettuce leaves or on a delicious homemade bread! In my never ending effort to try and cut out bread whenever I can, I served this over lettuce leaves."

Michelle from Ms. Enplace used a friend's recipe and some garden finds to make this refreshing Citrus Spinach Salad and says, "I love the dressing for this salad--the cinnamon really makes it...and makes it unusual. I also like the pungency of the green onions contrasted with the sweet satsumas (or oranges). And the crunch from the nuts ain't too shabby either."

Having a false start to spring was Lori from Fake Food Free who made this Lemon, Tuna and Chickpea Salad to celebrate. She says, "So this was the plan. A few days ago, when it actually felt like spring, I made a tasty, healthy and refreshing dish that I just couldn’t wait to share with you. I put it off for a bit so I could get some other posts up, then it happened. Winter came back. ... So while this salad did nothing for helping me hold onto spring, maybe it will help you quicken its return."

Joanne from Eats Well With Others offers up a healthy Wheat Berries and Chickpea Salad and says, "I knew this salad was a keeper when I ate it the night before my 20 mile run. And then rocked it. My calves were virtually pain free. ... And then I also ate this salad after the 20 mile run. With an avocado mixed in. Yup. An avocado. A whole avocado. Gotta eat back those calories somehow! Which is also proof that this salad is totally versatile. Whatever veggies you have, just throw em in! And then relish in how many vitamins and minerals you've practically injected into your body. Yeah, you're virtuous. And you know it."

girlichef reviewed a sandwich cookbook and tested the classic Patty Melt this week. She says, "I have had a Patty Melt before...many times throughout the years, but I don't think I've ever actually made one at home. Why!? So simple. So perma-grin inducing. So tasty. The only thing I did different is add a bit of "sauce" to moisten it all up a bit and add an extra hit of flavor. That's how I've always eaten them, so yes, that's how I like 'em."

Our final new blogger to welcome today is Martha from Seaside Simplicity, blogging from Florida with a sandwich offering this week, these decadent Italian Hotdogs. Martha says, "This is one I got from my late father in law almost 20 years ago. I actually thought he made it up until today. I Googled it to see if Italian hot dogs like we make them are something that's really out there - yes they are! I had forgotten all about these until a few days ago. It's been requested by all that these be put on the menu plans on a regular basis, they loved them!" Welcome Martha!

And there you have it--plenty of wonderful soups and salads and a couple of yummy sandwiches too. Thanks to everyone who joined in this week, especially our new faces--if you get a chance, please pop by their blogs to say hello.

***Giveaway Reminder***

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of a copy of a great book, "The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted" by Bridget Asher. Check out my review, a recipe inspired by the book and the details on how to enter here.
Whether it is still crazy winter weather or spring has sprung in your neck of the woods, have a fabulous week!


  1. Your soup looks fantastic! My mouth is watering for it...I bet you're right about making it a meal by adding a bit of chicken and/or some noodles...I'm trying this one for sure. I'm glad you were lightening your load! Tasty roundup =)

  2. Normally the corn soup recipes that I've read are always creamy and thick and well, pretty unhealthy and fattening. This sounds so light and spicy too! I'm from Iowa originally, and we love, love, love corn where it's the dominant crop there. Thanks for sharing!

  3. A great round-up this week, Deb! So many tasty and healthy recipes to try!

  4. You soup really does look awesome! The other recipes posted this week look great too! Thanks for the warm welcome :-)

  5. Hey I already tried your soup and it came out great with all the flavors in it. I had all the ingredients luckily and it tasted great. Thanks for sharing.. And wonderful roundup.

  6. Beautiful, fresh looking soup Deb! Love the colors. Thanks for hosting.

  7. That corn soup shines as brightly as the sun (which we finally got to see in our corner of the world!) and it sounds just lovely. I'm bookmarking it for when we get some nice fresh corn here.
    I like how the recipes in the roundup are poised between winter and spring. All very interesting, as usual, so I'll go back and look at the details. Thanks for another very nice edition of Souper Sundays. Have a great week!

  8. That soup sounds so tasty and I love the flavor combination! I love that the soup includes corn but it is a light soup, not weighed down with cream. I hope to make it this week - thanks for sharing the recipe along with all the other delicious dishes!

  9. My lemon grass is almost ready to be harvested... I see an asian corn soup in my future!

  10. I'm definitely all about lighter fare these days! I love the sweet corn paired with the saltier Asian flavors...sounds like one delicious soup!

  11. A lovely roundup usual. Loved the corn soup; one could make it with the ingredients at hand. The Salads were interesting too.

  12. Wow - I shouldn't be reading this roundup on an empty stomach this morning. I want everything!

    I love the combination of corn with jalapenos and really like the idea of putting an Asian spin on it.

    I secretly love going through old cooking magazines. I tell my husband and the kids that I have cleaning to do and then I go in my library and get lost. They think I'm hard at work but I'm enjoying myself immensely.

  13. Thanks for hosting! Your soup looks delicious!

  14. What a good use of corn. I feel fresh corn sometimes gets neglected around here. You have me looking forward to the few weeks of summer when it is at it's peak!


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