It was a long draining week putting in lots of hours trying to make a deadline on some consulting I am doing which made me tired and grumpy. I needed a good, stomach and soul-filling bowl of soup this week to get me back on track. Finding the “Corn Lady” had parked her truck near my house again, selling local corn picked fresh that morning felt like a sign that a hearty corn soup would be perfect. I decided to take some of the elements of a corn chowder, like potatoes, rice, and milk or cream, flavor it with my favorite Thai ingredients and top it with a luxurious scoop of crab meat. The result was this gorgeous Thai-Flavored Corn & Potato Chowder with Crab.
Thai-Flavored Corn & Potato Chowder with Crab
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 6 servings)
3 medium ears of fresh corn, (or about 2 1/4 cups frozen corn)
8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 stalks lemongrass, peeled and bruised
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into rounds
2 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 cup jasmine or long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1″ cubes
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch strips
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
fresh lime juice from 2 limes
1/2 Tbsp or to taste, sambal oelek or other red chili paste
1 can (14 oz) of lite coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped Thai basil, plus extra for garnish
6 oz lump crab meat for garnish
smoked paprika for garnish
If using fresh corn, cut kernels from cob with a sharp knife and set aside. Break up corn cobs and add to large heavy soup pot along with chicken stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, ginger, and curry paste and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until ginger is softened, about 15 minutes.
Pour through a fine mesh or paper-towel-lined sieve. Discard solids and put flavored stock back in pot. Bring to a boil, stir rice and potatoes into soup, turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Add reserved corn kernels and snow peas and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just heated through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, until about 2 minutes to blend flavors.
Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, stir in chopped cilantro and basil.
Place chowder in shallow bowls and top with additional chopped cilantro and Thai-basil and a heaping tablespoon of crab and garnish with a pinch of smoked paprika and a sprig of Thai-basil.