Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1 Batch of Corn Broth- 2 Corn Soups

When I was writing up a recipe for Southwestern Corn soup, I found myself writing 'vegetable broth' down on my list. A few minutes later I went back to the vegetable broth and thought, "why not make corn broth?" Why not use all of the parts of the corn that I would generally throw away, to make a light and slightly sweet broth to amplify my soup flavors even more? At that point, I quit asking myself so many obvious questions and crossed vegetable broth off the list.
Homemade vegetable broths are so easy to make and require almost no effort to put together, just some time to sit on the stove top and bubble away. Additionally, they are almost always free in the sense that you just use your vegetable scraps. This corn broth is made entirely of everything I would normally have thrown away after removing the kernels. The husks, silks and shaved cob are all thrown into a pot and what is created is a surprisingly flavorful broth great for enhancing my corn soup recipes.

Two soups are featured today. One, a traditional Asian corn soup, lightly infused with lemongrass and a second Southwestern Corn soup with chipotle, red bell peppers and garlic both made with homemade corn broth.

Corn Broth
8 cobs of yellow corn
12 cups of water
1 tbl of salt

Remove the husks and silks from the corn and put into a large pot. Cut the kernels off the cob and reserve for another use. Chop the cobs into thirds and add to the pot with water and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Strain over a colander lined with cheesecloth.

Asian Corn Soup
1 tbl olive oil
1 stalk of lemongrass. roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 cups corn broth
1 heaping tbl cornstarch mixed with 3 tbl water
juice of 1/2 lime
3 cups yellow corn kernels
salt and pepper

Sweat the lemongrass, onions and garlic in oil over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown, 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes to allow all of the flavors to infuse. Over a bowl, strain the broth, tossing the vegetable mix. Off the stove, whisk the cornstarch slurry into the broth. Bring back to the heat and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until the soup thickens. Add the lime juice and corn kernels and lightly simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Southwestern Corn Soup
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle peppers
4 tbl chopped cilantro, divided
4 cups yellow corn kernels, divided
1 tbl cumin
1 tbl ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups corn broth
1 tbl vegan worcestershire sauce
1 cup coconut milk
juice from 1/2 lime
vegan sour cream, for garnish

Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the vegetable start to become tender. Add the garlic, adobo sauce, 2 tbl cilantro, 1 cup corn, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook 4 minutes more. Reserve 1/4th of the corn mix to the side. Add the remaining 3 cups of corn, broth and worcestershire. Simmer for 20 minutes then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Bring back to the pot and add the coconut milk and lime juice. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the reserved corn/pepper mix, sour cream and more cilantro.

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