The only cold soup I’ve been a fan of is gazpacho, and I haven’t had it in years because I can’t find any place around here or any recipe that makes it the right way, with bread.
Other than Sevilla-made gazpacho, spooning a cold pureéd liquid into my maw just has never been a thrilling thought. What’s the point? It’s cold, drippy, and lacking texture.
This corn and coconut milk soup from June’s Martha Stewart Living, however, has me rethinking that position a bit. I realized a chilled soup does indeed have a reason to exist, and that’s as an appetizer or side dish. A chilled soup is never going to make the center of a meal, but with a salad or sandwich, or if you have people over and you’re feeling fancy, soups like this fill a niche.
And the simplicity of this particular recipe helps. The only fussy part is straining the soup after pureéing, and I learned the hard way that the straining does need to be done, unless you like gumming on detached corn kernel hulls (yum!).
This chilled corn and coconut milk soup is rich, punctuated by diffuse heat from the jalapeño, and tempered with some balancing tang by a bit of lime juice. Permeating it all is, of course, the sweet aroma of corn blended with the oh-so-subtle base of coconut milk.
Best of all, however, is the cool palest green color the soup takes on from the jalapenõ. I feel like I’ve had a dip in the pool just looking at it, calmed and refreshed. I used white-kerneled corn and encourage you to seek it out if you want the same pale green; yellow corn will make the soup pale yellow.
Corn is ready or nearly so in the warmer parts of the country, and we’ll have it here in a few weeks. In the meantime, frozen corn works just dandy in this.
Have a cup of this with a loose-leaf lettuce salad lightly dressed with vinaigrette, or, when entertaining, as a prelude to a fish main course, such as asian salmon on quinoa. It will pair well with a sandwich on hearty whole-grain bread, too.
chilled corn and coconut soup
A colander or other coarse sieve works well for straining the soup after pureéing. A colander’s side holes may be a bit large, but most of the soup will strain through the medium fine holes in the colander’s bottom. I tried a fine mesh sieve first and it captured too much of it!
prep: 15 minutes
puréeing and straining: 15 minutes
to table: 4 hours
special equipment: blender
3 cups cut corn, thawed if frozen
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon lime juice
Bring corn, coconut milk, jalapeño, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Pureé in batches in a blender, filling blender halfway at a time. Strain the pureé through a coarse sieve or colander into a large bowl to remove loose corn hulls. Discard solids.
Season soup with salt and pepper. Chill at least 3 hours. Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice.
Adapted from June 2009 Martha Stewart Living.
Nutrition information: 153 calories; 11.1g fat; 0mg cholesterol; 12mg sodium; 14.5g carbohydrate; 2.6g fiber; 5.1g sugars; 2.9g protein; 2% vitamin A; 9% vitamin C; 2% calcium; 4% iron