Corn Soup

Japanese sweet corn is served boiled, buttered and lightly salted at home. It is sometimes added to dishes like Bulalo or Nilagang Baka (boiled beef stew) that gives a sweetness to the dish. At home, when ever we would get fresh corn ears, we would either just boil them or make corn soup. It is one of the comfort foods that is enjoyed with fried or grilled foods.

The Ingredients;
3-4 ears of fresh sweet corn, cleaned
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, minced
1/2 - 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced into thin disks
1 teaspoon corn oil
3-4 cups of water or broth
a handful (approximately 2/3 cup) of chile pepper or cayenne leaves (dahon ng siling labuyo)
salt and white pepper to taste.

Cooking Procedure:
Remove the corn kernels from the cob by running a sharp knife through it. If you want a chunky style corn soup, run the knife as close as you can get through the cob. If you wish a more finer and creamier version, run the knife through the kernels, scraping the top slightly. Repeat for 4-5 times until you get all of the kernels and pulp. You may notice a white kind of liquid coming out, this is the "milk" that makes the soup creamier. Set this aside.

Saute ginger slices, onions and garlic in 1 teaspoon of corn oil. Heat through until the onions and garlic are tender but not burnt. Add in the shredded corn and saute thoroughly for 3-4 minutes. Pour in liquid and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer until the corn is cooked. Add in the chile pepper or cayenne leaves and adjust the seasonings.

Serve hot with croutons or as is.

My Notes:
- You may add 1/2 cup of shrimps, bacon, ham or pancetta for a more flavorful soup. You may add these after you saute the ginger, onions and garlic or add this in the end. For the raw shrimps, add them after sauting the aromatics until they slightly turn pink. As for the ham, bacon or pancetta, cook them until they caramelize with the aromatics. Then add in the corn and continue with the rest of the procedure.

- Use a blender or food processor if you wish to have a more smoother consistency.

- A 250ml all-purpose cream or full cream milk may be added to make a creamier corn soup. Add this towards the end of the cooking process. Let it simmer until it reaches to the preferred consistency.

- If chile pepper or cayenne leaves are not available, you may substitute with onion leeks, parsley or cilantro. But the taste would not be the same since it may lack the "slight peppery" flavor.

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