Corn season is now upon us here in Ontario and that means bushels of the sweetest, tenderest Peaches and Cream corn imaginable and it's cheap so we are eating lots of it. Apart from eating it lightly cooked with lots of melted butter and salt, I am currently having a love affair with corn soup. Usually, I am a corn chowder gal but I have found a new corn soup spirit animal.
Let me be perfectly clear - the pressure cooker corn soup from Kenji Lopez at Serious Eats is absolutely amazing and it's perfect, as it. The tarragon and the sweet corn were made for each other, it's smooth, rich and so creamy that you would swear, on your grandmother's foot pedal sewing machine, that there was a ton of creamy in it but there isn't. It's truly perfect and I have made it a million times already.
This soup is NOT at attempt to improve upon it but a way to use this fool proof technique to make another flavour profile happen. I had already eaten my weight in this soup and it was stinking hot and I really wanted more but I wanted something that tasted Asian and a lighter version of the chowder I would normally make that uses a can or two of coconut milk and potatoes to make. The texture of the pureed soup is already so thick and rich that I only needed 1/2 cup of coconut milk to get what I was looking for and it makes a really nice summer meal if you pair it with some cold rice rolls or grilled meat so that you don't have to heat up the kitchen.
I don't love one version more than the other because they are very different but, like my children, I love them equally. Alright, I only have one child but IF I HAD TWO I WOULD LOVE THEM EQUALLY, OKAY?
Pressure Cooker Thai Corn Soup
makes about 2 litres and is adapted from Serious Eats
2 tbls grapeseed oil
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2" piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
6 cobs of corn, cobs split and kernels cuts off
3 stalks lemon grass, smashed
2 lime leaves
1 thai chili, seeded or more to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 handful thai basil
1 handful of mint
3 tsp fish sauce
juice from 1 lime
1/5 cup coconut milk
Hit saute in your Instant Pot and wait until it says "HOT". If you are using a different brand, hit the button that turns on the saute feature.
Add the oil, the leek, garlic, chili and ginger and cook for about 4 minutes, until the leek is soft and the spices are fragrant.
Throw in the corn cobs, the corn, the lemon grass, lime leaves and chicken broth, stir well, push the cobs down into the liquid as far as they can go, seal the lid and set it for 15 minutes at high pressure on manual. When the time is up, use a quick release and when the pressure is released, open the lid.
Discard the cobs, the lime leaves, as much of the lemon grass as you can fish out, throw in the basil and mint and start to puree in the blender, taking at least two batches, until it's as liquified as you can get it. Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl or another pot and, using a silicone spatula, push the puree through the strainer until no more liquid will come out into the bowl. Discard the solids left in the strainer and repeat until you have strained all of the soup.
Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and coconut milk and taste. If it needs more sauce, add another tsp of fish sauce.
Serve with with fresh mint, thai basil