ASIAN-STYLE CORN CHOWDER

This is a deliciously different spin on the  American classic.  You can find lemongrass and Thai  chili paste in  most large supermarkets.  It’s an easy soup to whip up and most of the ingredients are generally in your freezer or pantry.

ASIAN-STYLE CORN CHOWDER  makes around nine cups.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 generous tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger

2 medium shallots finely chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

A generous sprinkling of red chili flakes

Around 3-4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable broth if cooking vegetarian)

20 ounce bag of frozen whole-kernel corn

1 1/2 tsp sugar,    1/2 tsp salt,    generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water

1 stalk (12 inches long) fresh lemongrass, lightly pounded and then cut into 4-inch-long pieces, or 3 strips lemon peel

For Garnish:  sour cream, cilantro, Thai red chili paste

Method:

Saute  the ginger, shallots, garlic, onion and lemongrass in the olive oil until lightly golden.   Sprinkle generously with salt and red chili flakes while sauteing.  Add the  2 cups of water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat  and simmer for about ten minutes or so.

In your stock pot add the chicken stock, corn, sugar and heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about five minutes.

Remove the lemongrass from the onion mixture and discard.   add onion mixture  to the corn mixture.  Remove two cups of this mixture and set aside.

In a blender at low speed, with center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend soup remaining in pot in small batches until very, very smooth.  Pour soup into large bowl after each batch.  This is probably the most difficult part of this easy to make soup.    And it’s really not difficult, just a little messy.

Return blended soup and reserved soup to same sauce pot and heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally.  Serve with sour cream, cilantro and chili paste.    Bon Appetit!

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