Curried Corn Soup
A dash of curry powder boosts the flavor of this summery corn soup, which is served chilled. A mixture of as many as 20 different spices, seeds and herbs, curry powder exists in countless variations. In India, many cooks make it fresh daily or buy only a very small quantity at a time from a trusted purveyor. Sample a few different brands to find one you like. Curry powder loses its flavor relatively quickly, so buy small amounts and discard any that sit on the shelf for longer than 6 months.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green portions, finely chopped
- 2 small red potatoes, about 1/2 lb. total,
peeled and coarsely chopped
- 5 cups corn kernels (from about 6 large ears of
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 6 thin lemon slices
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and all but 1/2 cup of the corn kernels and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Alternatively, process with a handheld blender in the pan until smooth. Pass the pureed soup through a fine-mesh sieve or food mill set over a serving bowl, pressing on the pulp. Discard any solids left in the sieve. Season with salt and white pepper. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled, at least 4 hours.
Just before serving, bring a small saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the reserved 1/2 cup corn kernels and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and let cool.
Ladle the soup into chilled bowls or mugs and garnish each with a lemon slice, a dollop of sour cream, some corn kernels and a sprinkling of parsley. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2001).