Although, not traditional, our coconut corn soup is a nod to Thailand. This fresh corn soup will blow your mind. No cream. No butter. No bacon. It’s a creamy concoction using coconut milk, fresh corn, chilies, aromatics, lime leaves and lemongrass. It’s a thick soup, but with a brothy element to it. You can enjoy this hot or cold and adapt it to meet vegan and carnivore tastes. Adding grilled shrimp or chicken or additional fresh vegetables and roasted peanuts would be great additions.
Thai dishes are not complex. They lean on aromatics, spice and a balance between sweet and sour. Texture, color and finishing touches make Thai foods unique and one of the most popular foods on the planet. This soup is not a typical Thai soup at all! When I think of Thai foods, I don’t think of corn. It’s not traditionally a component of popular Thai dishes, however we saw it popping up in restaurants on our last visit. We even saw corn in one of the open markets. Apparently Thailand has a growing demand for corn, with more farmers growing each year. With this growth comes new dishes. Like this coconut corn soup. It’s a peasant style dish and can be eaten cold or hot, for breakfast with an egg or dinner with shrimp or chicken. It only requires only a few ingredients and easily adapts to carnivore or vegan tastes. The addition of fried shallots or fried garlic, cilantro and hot peppers for garnish give it even more flavor and eye appeal.
This is a freezer friendly soup so you can enjoy the fresh corn flavors on a cold winter day when life just doesn’t allow cooking. If you want to make less, you can literally cut ingredients in half.
Makes approximately 2-1/2 Quarts.
- 5 C fresh corn, cut off the cobb
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus 2 tsp for shallots
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 C fresh ginger, minced
- 1 serrano chile, minced plus more for garnish
- 4 yukon gold potatoes, diced (approximately 3 cups)
- 6 C vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 1 can full-fat organic coconut milk
- 6 lime leaves
- 4 pieces of lemongrass (approximately 5-6″ in length)
- 3 T fresh lime juice
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 T kosher salt or more if needed, plus 1/2 tsp for shallots
- Cilantro leaves
- Additional serrano (jalapeno works as well)
In a large stockpot set on medium heat, add coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger and serrano chile. Sauté for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of corn, 2 cups of potatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. With an emersion blender, blend the soup so you achieve a semi-creamy broth. After blending add in coconut milk, lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice, remainder corn and potatoes and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season with salt. While soup is simmering in final stage, you can fry your shallots. In a medium size sauté pan, add 2 teaspoons coconut oil and sliced shallots. Add teaspoon of sugar if so desired. It helps caramelize the shallots. Fry until lightly caramelized. Season with salt. Set aside for garnish. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with cilantro, peppers and shallots.
Taken from CIMMYT: “Maize in Thailand. The Production Systems, Constraints and Research Priorities. “
Corn is one of five major crops grown in the uplands of Thailand, along with rice, cassava, sugar cane, and rubber trees. Government-promoted crop diversification, increased population growth, improved transportation networks, inter national trade, expansion of upland farming areas, and increased demand for grains from the domestic livestock and poultry industry stimulated Thailand’s maize production beginning in the 1980s. However, Thailands domestic maize supply is currently not sufficient to meet the needs of its in-country demands, and small quantities have to be imported. Rapid economic growth and accelerated urbanization are expected to create an even higher demand for maize in Thailand. This trend will lead to the intensification of current maize production systems, with more land being shifted to maize production, particularly in marginal areas. Thailands challenge is to produce more maize for an expanding market, while preserving the natural resource base and the environment through careful agricultural planning. Effective policy design and implementation must be based on comprehensive, accurate data on the current state of maize-based farming systems. This study characterized the social and biophysical maize production environment of Thailand; examined its response to increasing maize demand; determined constraints to future productivity growth; indicated the potential environmental consequences, and examined the options available for promoting sustainable growth in maize production.”