- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I never tire of fresh corn soups in summer. In today’s recipe, I have included lemon juice and curry powder for a refreshing Eastern accent.

The amount of curry might seem overwhelming, but it’s just right. The lemon adds a citrus tang.

Toasted pita bread with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese goes perfectly with the soup.

You can use either white or yellow corn, as long as it is very fresh. Corn quickly turns to starch and the flavors fade, so find the freshest just-picked corn possible. Husk the corn and then cut the kernels from the cob. The easiest way to do that is to place the cob vertically in a shallow bowl and with a very sharp knife, slide the knife down the corn, releasing the corn kernels into the bowl. Turn the cob and continue.

Curry powder is a complicated blend of up to 20 spices, seeds and herbs, but its bright yellow color comes from turmeric.

Packaged curry powders, while not as interesting as a special personal blend, work fine for this recipe. They come in standard and Madras style, which is the hotter of the two. Select a good quality standard curry powder for this recipe. Curry powder loses its strength quickly, so keep it in a dark place to preserve it.

Chilled curried corn soup

Makes 6 servings.

This can be made one day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium leeks, cleaned, white part only, finely chopped

2 small red potatoes, about 1/2 pound, peeled and coarsely chopped

5 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 large ears)

2 teaspoons curry powder

6 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and white pepper, to taste

6 to 8 thin lemon slices, for garnish

1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish

3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

In large saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, turning frequently until softened. Add the potatoes and all but 1/2 cup of the corn kernels and continue to cook about another 2 minutes. Add curry powder and cook about another minute.

Add stock and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Puree the soup in the pan with a hand blender or in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pass through a food mill or a fine strainer into a bowl, pushing down the pulp to get all of the flavor. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Chill for at least 4 hours.

For the garnish: Immerse the remaining corn kernels in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and cool.

To serve, pour soup into bowls or mugs and garnish with lemon slices, a dollop of sour cream, corn kernels and chopped parsley.

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