Monday, January 6, 2014
Last night I invented a soup inspired by one I've had a number of times at Bridgehead, Ottawa's local fair-trade coffee shop chain. They tend to make terrific soups, but I am always particularly thrilled when I duck in for lunch and they have the curried corn and coconut milk soup. It's tasty and warming and delightful next to a sandwich.
I wanted something closer to a true chowder, but not with a ton of milk and butter, and without using flour as a thickener. Coconut milk and sweet corn stayed in the mix, but I added potatoes and crabmeat (rather than the traditional clams, which I thought might be too briny for the coconut flavour) and tossed in a few green onions for colour and perk. The result was something close to perfection, in my opinion. As soup is wont to be, it was even better today for lunch. I'm sad it's gone, but you better believe I'll be making that one again a few times this winter. Pure comfort in a bowl, my friends. Soup is my best defense against winter blahs. Trust me - it works.
Curried corn and crab chowder
1 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
1/2 a large sweet onion
2 cups vegetable or fish stock
2 cans light coconut milk
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sugar
4 large yellow potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cans chunk crabmeat, drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 green onions, sliced (light and dark green parts only)
In a medium stockpot heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Saute gently until onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and garlic powder; saute 30 seconds, then pour in the stock and coconut milk and whisk gently to combine. Add the potatoes and bring up to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
If you wish a thicker chowder, remove all but about 1/2 cup of the potatoes using a slotted spoon, then use an immersion blender to puree the remaining potatoes into the broth. Return potatoes to pot and add the corn, crab, green onions, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer five minutes until all ingredients are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter.