Monday, February 09, 2009

confession (also, corn soup)

I spent the weekend out on Long Island visiting Lauren. We had a lovely time together, but she, being a first grade teacher, had some school work to get done while I was there. And it was while she was grading spelling tests that I got into trouble.

I was just trying to read my book, curled up on the couch, surrounded by two attention-hogging pitbulls, not paying much attention to the television playing in the background. Until I looked up to see, on Bravo, a show by the name of the Millionaire Matchmaker. The next thing I knew it was two hours later, two hours of my life gone that I'm never going to get back, and Lauren was asking, "Are you okay over there?"

I'm still amazed that the people on that show breathe the same atmosphere that I breathe, because damn if they don''t seem like a bunch of strange and alien creatures.

Eventually I managed to tear myself away, and then we went and made a big batch of corn soup.

Indian-Style Corn Soup:

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups corn kernels (6-8 ears or 2 10-oz frozen packages)
3 cups water, vegetable, or chicken broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves

Cook the onion, garlic, and thyme in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the corn and half the water, cover partially, and simmer until the kernels are soft, about 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir in the curry powder and heat gently for 1 minute to wake up its aroma, but be careful not to let burn. Remove the pan from the heat.

Puree the corn mixture in a blender or food processor and then strain it through a food mill with a medium disk or a medium-mesh strainer. If you want a smoother texture, strain it again through a fine-mesh strainer. Add the rest of the water or broth to the strained mixture.

Whisk the cooked curry, coconut milk, sugar, lime or lemon juice, and cilantro into the soup a minute or two before serving. Season with salt.

(from James Peterson's Splendid Soups)

This was incredibly easy, especially when you ignore some of the directions. We did cook the curry separately but really there's not much need to do that. We also used a stick blender to blend it right in the soup pot and didn't bother with the straining at all. And the frozen corn is pretty good, especially for this time of year, and a hell of a lot easier (and less messy) than cutting the kernels off ears of corn.

Were I to make it again, I'd forgo the thyme, which has never been one of my favorite spices, and double the curry and garlic. Tonight, for my leftovers, I tossed in a couple diced plum tomatoes. Delicious.

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