Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Curried Corn Soup with Ginger

Okay, so apparently Mother Nature hasn't gotten the memo that Spring officially started over 5 days ago.  I'm not saying we've haven't had some nice days since spring rolled around, but we've had some cool days too.  Oh, and some rain.  Boy have we had some rain.  I can't even walk in my front yard right now without having mud up to my ankles.  With weather dipping down into the 50's tomorrow, I'd say with confidence oh mother nature is a tad bit confused.

Here in Arkansas, and I'm sure in many other areas, we've experienced 3 out of 4 seasons in the past week.  So, to say my menu planning has been all over the place would be an understatement.  One day we're on the back porch enjoying sunshine, a nice breeze and firing up the grill and the next day we're bundled up inside, dodging the rain and slurping up soup.


So, in the midst of the crazy weather, I've taken advantage of the cooler temps and jumped at the opportunity to squeeze in a few more soups I've had my eye on.  This curried corn soup with ginger is one of those soups.  I spotted it in the November issue of Food Network Magazine and was instantly intrigued.


Now, this isn't the type of soup I generally get excited about but I do enjoy trying new and different things and this was definitely a soup that was outside my entire families comfort zone.  Not so much with the corn, but adding ginger and curry to the mix.  Well, that's a whole different ballgame.  But, it's one Spencer (somewhat reluctantly) agreed to try.

This soup is packed full of vegetables, flavor and spices.  It's so creamy and filling, but not too heavy.  This time around I made it with heavy cream, but I think the use of coconut milk would be an amazing addition, adding a slight sweetness and another layer of flavor.  It's a lot of flavors and spices packed in this simple, soup but they all work together wonderfully.
Naturally sweet, succulent corn, paired with other veggies and seasoned with spicy curry powder.  The corn brings a natural sweetness and it's quickly followed by a warm heat from the curry powder.  I added some sweet, lump crabmeat, brown butter and fried garlic to ours.  The addition of these ingredients give the soup more depth of flavor as well as adds a little texture.

Curried Corn Soup with Ginger
Ingredients:

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced and well rinsed
2 Stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Large carrot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped, peeled ginger
3 Cloves garlic
2 Tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 Tsp madras-style curry powder
1 Large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 Cups low sodium chicken broth*
1 Tsp sugar
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn kernels
1 Cup heavy cream, could be substituted with half and half or coconut milk
Kosher salt

Topping options-
sour cream
Greek yogurt
creme fraiche
cilantro
lump crabmeat
brown butter
fried, sliced garlic

Directions:

Place butter in a large pot or Dutch oven and place over medium heat.  Allow butter to melt and then add the leeks, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic, thyme, curry and potatoes, stir to combine.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are coated in spices, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, 2 cups of water, and the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the corn, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.  Add the heavy cream and continue cooking until warmed through, about 5 minutes.  Remove the soup from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, return to pot.  Alternately, use an immersion blender and puree the soup in the pot.  Taste, adjust seasonings, if needed.

For an extremely creamy, lump-free soup, strain through a fine mesh sieve.  If soup needs to be warmed, return to stove and reheat.

Top with desired toppings and serve immediately.

*To make this soup vegetarian, use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.

Recipe source: Food Network Magazine, November 2014

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