Thursday, February 21, 2008

Asian Style Corn Soup

I love to eat soup all year long, but in the winter it is something I eat almost every day. Here is a soup that is easy (don't let the ingredients scare you) and has a bit of an exotic flavor. I find it very satisfying. It is a good soup to curb your appetite before a large dinner or to help you make it to the next meal.

4 ears corn (or 1 lb of frozen)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
12 sprigs cilantro
5 (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and quartered
1 to 2 fresh lemongrass stalks, including bulb end, smashed and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon thai fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Thinly sliced lime (optional)
Thinly sliced jalapeño pepper (optional)
  1. Cut corn kernels from ears of corn; set aside. Reserve cobs if using fresh corn.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Cut each cob (if using) into 3 pieces. Add cobs, 4 cups water, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Strain broth through a colander into a bowl; discard solids. Add corn kernels, juice, fish or soy sauce and salt to broth; stir to blend. Return soup to pan; simmer 5 minutes or until hot.
  4. Garnish with lime and jalapeño slices, if desired.

If a thicker soup is desired, puree half of the soup (the corn) in a blender before serving.

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