Sunday, April 28, 2013

Corn-and-Coconut Milk Soup: Easy Mark Bittman for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had not seen the "corn lady" parked along the road by my house and selling bags of fresh sweet local corn, for quite some time so I had to stop and grab a bag. All thoughts went to corn soup and a quick search led me to a Mark Bittman recipe from a New York Times Magazine  article on uses for fresh corn. I love the simplicity of Bittman's recipes and the Thai flavors in this soup. 

I adapted things a bit (adjusting the coconut milk amount, adding kaffir lime leaves, onion and a small red chili), in red below. As common with Bittman, the recipe is more of a sketch to start things off with. Coconut milk and corn are a perfect pairing for a light and refreshing bowl of soup.  

Corn-and-Coconut Milk Soup
Adapted from Mark Bittman, NYT Magazine, August 23, 2012
(Makes about 4 Servings)

4-6 stripped cobs of corn (3 to 4 cups)
4 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil
(1 medium sweet onion, chopped)
(1/2 to 1 small red chili, seeded & minced)
2 stalks lemon grass, peeled and chopped finely
1/3 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped + more to garnish
fresh lime juice to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Put corn kernels in 4 cups coconut milk and 2 cups water for 15 minutes. (Don't boil) Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, sauté chopped onion and lemon grass in a neutral-flavored oil with the seeded, minced chili until softened and translucent. Add the lemongrass mixture to the broth, along with 1/3 cup of the Thai basil, chopped and cook until onions are soft and cooked through. Add fresh lime juice to taste. Garnish with additional fresh Thai basil and serve.

Notes/Results: Mmm... There isn't much better than fresh sweet corn off the cob, still slightly crisp and juicy in a soup. If you can't get it yet where you are at--wait for it--it's so worth it in a recipe like this.The soup is mild but has several layers of flavor from the different aromatic ingredients and the corn flavor comes through well. The red pepper adds just a little kick to the mix. I ended up using the juice from two small limes, so it was nice and tangy. This soup is nice as a light starter and would be great with some salad rolls or a green papaya salad for dinner. I would make it again.

This is my second entry this week for our Potluck theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Our new expanded Potluck feature allows for recipes from past IHCC chefs and I have been missing Mark Bittman! ;-) Check out the Potluck creations everyone made by going to the post and following the links. 

Let's check out the Souper Sundays kitchen and see what dishes await!

Janet of The Taste Space shares a delectable bowl of Chang Mai Curry Noodles with Tempeh (Vegan Khao Soi) and says, " is a brothy coconut curry with boiled egg noodles and tofu, topped with crispy fried egg noodles. ...this version has you making your own curry paste from fresh turmeric (yes!), ginger, cilantro, garlic and chilies. No shrimp here. It is used to flavour a coconut curry broth that is studded with tempeh, noodles, lime and cilantro. I used kelp noodles for mine whereas Rob prefers the egg noodles. Absolutely delicious."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others made one of my recent favorite recipes, Yotam Ottolenghi's Herb, Chard & Feta Soup. She says, "When I saw this soup in the last year's January issue of Bon Appetit I thought YES - DIY cleanse food! On the cheap! WIN. But then I also thought, hmm I should pair this with beer-infused biscuits. Because...apparently cleansing-according-to-moi includes butter. And lots of it.  Now all of a sudden I see why people spend an arm and a leg and a first-born child on these prepared programs. There's far less room for subjectivity. Or user error. Or your deep-seated love of butter to intervene. Besides. All that swiss chard has to count for something right?"

Also rocking Ottolenghi this week is my friend and IHCC co-host Sue of Couscous and Consciousness with this lovely Burnt Aubergine & Mograbieh Soup. Sue says, "The final dish exceeded all my expectations. The flavour is deep, smoky and intense, and the mograbieh (also known as Israeli couscous) along with the chunks of roasted aubergine add great textural interest.  Now I know that there are those amongst you who could eat soup every night of the week - I am not one of those people.  Soup is something I do on occasion, but it's definitely not a "go-to" dish for me.  Well let me tell you that this is the soup that could potentially change all that - this is so good that I feel like I want to eat this every night for the rest of my life ... or at least until the next great Ottolenghi dish comes along."

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes offers up this beautiful salad and says, "Since I have been carrying around a tiny smidgen of winter weight, I went with something light, this Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Green Beans filled the bill quite nicely.  Just look at it – doesn’t it look like some fancy spa food! This was so easy, perfect for a weeknight.  It was even better the next day when the tomatoes had given up more of their juice and the topping was a little more dressing like.  The key to this is try to get a little bit of everything in on one bite.  The chicken by itself is not that exciting, but when you get a bit of the sweetness from the tomatoes and a tart bite from the olives, so good!"

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares this light and healthy Couscous, Broccoli, Bell Pepper Salad and says, "Couscous does resemble quinoa when cooked, but it is a form of pasta, not a seed like quinoa and taste less earthy than quinoa. Best of all, couscous cooks instantly! I love the "instant" part of it. Really. These days when the weather gets too hot making me lose my appetite, such quick and light one-dish salads are easy to turn to."

One sandwich from Brittany at Brittany Cooks, these flavorful Indian-Spiced Turkey Burgers. She says, "These aren't the most beautiful burgers in the world, but boy are they flavorful. I made one immediately after combining all the ingredients, and per the author's suggestion, also waited until the next day to cook the rest to let the flavors marry. I'm so glad I did. I thought the flavor was great with the first one, but the second was incredible. Served on a toasted bun with lettuce and a little homemade tzatziki, these are probably my new favorite burgers!

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details. 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I feel a soup making weekend coming along! I love this soup Deb, up there with Sue's Ottolenghi :)

  2. We are still a long time from fresh corn but I agree, it is great with coconut and Thai flavours. Yum! :)

  3. Hi Deb,
    A lovely bowl of corn soup! I wanted to make some corn soup last week, but did not managed to! This looks really delicious!
    And all the submissions to Souper Sundays are sure looking good!

  4. Fabulous, Deb. I love soups with corn in them, and I'm loving this version with coconut cream and those wonderful Thai flavourings. Love that you added the kaffir lime and chilli as well. Can't wait for next summer for fresh corn now, and so pleased you chose a Bittman recipe - definitely a chef that I revisit on a regular basis.

  5. Oh I can't wait for corn to be in season! We get such good local stuff here. :) This soup will definitely be made! Corn and coconut paired together is quite magical.

  6. www.teczcape.blogspot.comApril 29, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    A bowl of fresh sweetness in that corn and coconut milk soup! Thanks for the round up.

  7. I like that you went back to Bittman for this round of potluck. When I think of him I feel like his recipes are all encompassing. If you want to make it then you can be sure he has a recipe for it. Saying that, this corn coup looks so fresh and flavorful. I'm so jealous that you have fresh corn already. I can't wait until it starts popping up here.


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