THE WASHINGTON POST – A warm bowl of soup might not be exactly what you think of to eat in the middle of summer, but some cultures do just that on the hottest days of the year, and there is scientific evidence to support the cooling effect of consuming hot foods on warm days.
And this coconut corn soup – topped with as much chili crisp as your heart desires – is begging to be made right now with peak season corn. Or, if you’d rather enjoy it during the colder months, frozen or canned kernels make this a pantry-friendly recipe that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
It starts as most good recipes do: by sauteing an onion. A mélange of spices – including coriander, garlic powder and smoked paprika – fills your kitchen with an almost intoxicating aroma.
Next, corn and liquid are added and then simmered until the kernels are tender. The liquid is a combination of broth or water and coconut milk. Broth, of course, has more flavour, but water works too if you’re out. I developed this recipe using vegetable broth, but you can use chicken broth or stock if you aren’t vegetarian.
Canned coconut milk adds a lovely creaminess while keeping the soup vegan.
As delightful as the soup is on its own, the addition of chili crisp transforms each serving into a bowl of sweet-and-spicy comfort.
When drizzled on top, it becomes an edible Rorschach test for the diner to determine what they see – I can almost make out an elephant’s face wearing sunglasses in the image above – and I love the beautiful streaks of red that form against the yellow backdrop of the soup with each dip of your spoon.
But if you aren’t a fan of spice, toasted coconut or chopped peanuts would also work well as a garnish, or simply omit it. For a heartier meal, serve with toast or a piece of crusty bread for dunking in the soup.
COCONUT CORN SOUP WITH CHILI CRISP
Time: 25 minutes
– Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– One medium yellow onion, diced
– One-and-a-half teaspoons ground coriander
– One teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
– Half teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
– Half teaspoon garlic powder
– Half teaspoon smoked paprika
– Two (12-ounce) bags frozen sweet corn (may substitute with three (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added whole kernel sweet corn, drained, or about five cups fresh corn kernels)
– Two cups no-salt-added or low-sodium vegetable broth or water
– One (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
– Chili crisp, for serving
In an eight-quart or similarly sized stock pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion, coriander, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent, about five minutes.
Add the corn, broth or water, and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the corn is tender, five to seven minutes.
Remove from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
Alternatively, transfer the soup to a blender, cover loosely, and blend, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until the consistency is as smooth or chunky as desired.
Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if needed. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with the chili crisp and serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving | 439 calories, 8g protein, 48g carbohydrates, 29g fat, 19g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 613mg sodium, 6g dietary fibre, 9g sugar