This soup was born as a comforting antidote to my end-of-fresh-corn-season blues, and it uses two other ingredients that I can’t get enough of: coconut milk (my new passion since I found it in the Asian section of the grocery store) and curry spices, which I’ve been throwing into just about everything after I heard about their nearly-magical anti-inflammatory healing power. The combination is sheer velvety heaven with a delicate sweet nuttiness and a hit of warmth from the spices. Corn Soup with Coconut Milk and Healing Spices is an updated healthy chowder without the cream, and it can be enjoyed either hot or cold, depending on our changeable September weather.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh
3 tablespoons butter (or healthy oil if you want to make a vegan version)
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 cups good-quality vegetable broth
1 teaspoon curry powder (this is a blend that usually include turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and other healing spices
1 cup coconut milk (you can use the low-fat variety if you like; be sure to shake the can thoroughly before opening and measuring).
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil over medium heat, then add onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent and garlic is fragrant but not browned.
2. Add corn and broth and cook, partially covered, until corn is soft, about 10 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter or oil and add the curry powder, stirring well. Heat for 1 minute–the fragrance will be divine, just be sure you donít burn it–then remove from heat and reserve.
3. Puree the corn mixture in a blender or food processor. In a bowl, whisk together the warm curry spices, coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro. Add to soup just before serving, stirring well to combine. Salt to taste and serve warm, or chill for at least one hour in the fridge and serve cold.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).