We Americans all know the sensual, sloppy summer ritual of running our teeth repeatedly across an ear of corn, dripping salt-gritty butter down the corners of our mouths to our chins, barely giving ourselves time to breath as we savage the cob to a ragged, sad mess. Our smiles are now ragged, sad messes, too, but it's all for a good cause: the naturally sweet, carb-y comfort of fine local produce. Who would have thought that a world away, the Japanese would be peeling open cans of kernels for a ritual comfort all their own?
Corn cream soup, as it is known to the Japanese, is a miracle of ease that stirs very happy memories of childhoods fussed over by nurturing mothers. Though not terribly different from a corn chowder, it does have a distinctive hint of Asian flavor, chiefly from the addition of green onion rather than our use of celery. Though our summer is officially over, and the harvest of fresh corn will soon wane and yield to apples, pumpkins, and turnips, it's a comfort to know that comfort is only a can away.
Toumorokoshi no kurīmusūpu (Japanese Corn Cream Soup) - Adapted from a Tess's Japanese Kitchen recipeThis corn-centric recipe is for Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes, hostesses of the popular monthly event No Croutons Required. Lisa will soon have the round-up online. Do stop over for a peek and a taste of what's on the table.
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 cup well-seasoned and salted vegetable broth
1 cup half and half, light cream, or whole milk
1 ½ cups canned or fresh sweet corn kernels
2 green onion blades, chopped, green part only
4-6 deep-fried lotus root slices (optional garnish)
Additional salt to taste
In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and golden. Do not brown. Add broth and your dairy choice. Increase heat to a simmer. Add corn kernels. Heat through. Carefully pour hot liquid into blender. Purée briefly. The soup will have a light texture, but will not be velvety. Pour directly from blender container into serving bowls. Garnish with green onion and optional lotus root slices. Serve immediately with salt shaker on side.
I'll be back with another recipe post later tonight. See you then!