Thai Corn Chowder
Hello, friends! Happy harvest time! This time of year has always been my favourite, because the humidity is finally lifting, the air is getting fresh, the leaves start to change, and, most importantly, we have the most incredible produce! I always find myself inspired by the amazing produce available in August-October in Ontario; it pushes me out of my comfort zone and into a space where I want to create. I first made this soup a few years ago, during this magical time of year when I follow the lead of the produce. In fact, I wrote this post back then too. But, it took me until now to finally get the step-by-step photos taken, so it is finally time to share! So, without further ado, please enjoy the tastiest soup of the summer-fall: Thai Corn Chowder.
I had never eaten Thai corn chowder before I made it the first time. I'm sure I saw a recipe for it somewhere, but the inspiration for this soup came to me at a farmer’s market, where I flirted with a cute corn farmer. I perhaps lingered at his table a little longer than necessary while he taught me how to pick the perfect cob without pulling back the leaves (how did I live without this knowledge?) and I noticed at the next stand, another farmer was selling lemongrass. So I thought, hey, Thai corn chowder, I think that might be a thing?
Indeed it is! But, based on my readings, it’s a thing that many people do differently. So, I took my standard approach of reading tons of recipes, and coming up with what I felt would be the most appealing version to my tastebuds (and my sense of expedience). So, without further ado, delicious soupy heaven.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, butter or other high flash point oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp ginger, grated
- 2-4 fresh chilis, or more, dependent on how spicy you like things
- 4 cobs of corn
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 2 sticks of lemongrass (are they called sticks?)
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- Basil ( I used thai basil and lime basil)
- 1 mango
- ¼ lime per serving
Other Garnish options:
- Snow peas
To begin, add the coconut oil to a large soup pot and put the heat on medium. Dice your onion, and add to the pot once the oil has liquified. Sautee the onions while you roughly chop your garlic and grate your ginger, and add those to the pot. The garlic doesn’t need to be finely minced, because we’re going to use the immersion blender later. However, if you want to skip the immersion blender step, you should mince the garlic. Chop the chilis and add those to the onion-garlic mixture. If you want a little less heat, you can remove the seeds of the chilis. If you hate spice, don’t add any chilis.
Add six cups of chicken stock to the pot, and stir. Cut a shallow line down the centre of the lemongrass and bang it with a knife and the flat of your hand to open it, being sure to keep the pieces large so it will be easy to retrieve later, and add it to the pot. Peel and chop one of the two potatoes, and add to the pot. Cut the uncooked corn off the cobs and set aside in a bowl. Add the corn cobs to the pot.
Turn heat up, and bring soup to a boil. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to medium, and cover, cooking for about 30 minutes.
After about 20 minutes into the stock cooking, add the butter to a large skillet, and melt it on medium. Add the corn to the skillet, and sautee in butter for about 5 min (this smells so good!). Dice remaining potato and add to the pan. Once the kernals become a deeper colour of yellow, set aside. In the meantime, chop your mango, cilantro, mint, basil and lime (all of these are optional EXCEPT the lime).
When the broth is ready after about 30 minutes, remove the lemongrass stalks and corn cobs (I used a slotted spoon for the lemongrass and tongs for the corn cobs). Add the can of coconut milk, and use the immersion blender to make the broth smooth. Once smooth, add the corn mixture and potatoes to the broth, cook for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft, then add salt and pepper to taste. We’re almost there!
Serve your soup in bowls and garnish however you like. If serving to guests, maybe put out a nice selection of garnishes for them to choose from, but make sure everyone has a quarter of a lime to squeeze into their soup. The lime is critical and it makes all the flavours come together.
And there you have it! Enjoy your delicious wonderfully fragrant incredible soup creation!