This month I’m doing cooking demos at the New York Botanical Gardens in a series sponsored by Growing Chefs. All of my recipes are seasonal, market and garden fresh. I’m keeping the dishes simple to create so that no matter what age or cooking expertise, you can enjoy the recipes. The kitchen is beautiful and well equipped at the Conservatory Kitchen and there’s a slew of other exciting culinary guests on the schedule to check out.
The first week I made Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame dressing, last week was a Basil Pesto Pasta Salad. Here is a preview for this week’s recipe, my personal favorite of the series. It’s a refreshing summer soup that I created without any dairy at all. The corn and coconut milk come together to create a creamy silky texture that you’ll never even miss cream or butter. I was only aiming to complement the sweetness of the corn with a few simple flavors. We’ve been hit with a heat wave in New york City, so the quicker the cook time the better. I skipped making a stock with the cobbs and went for any shortcuts I could find.
For adding another layer of flavor and texture, I’m a big fan of toppings in soup. When I set out to make this soup I was trying to recreate a recipe I made for a dinner party several years ago, which I failed to write down. I remembered for that I made a topping of crab and chili oil. This time I had some fava beans on hand so instead I mixed them with some ancho chili oil and olive oil for a sweet surprise in the middle of my soup. The end result is elegant and refreshing and takes little time to whip up. If you can pick some micro greens and edible flowers from your garden, or pick them up from the market, for a garnish it’s a bonus. Maybe I’ll see some of you at the garden soon…
Creamy Corn Soup with Coconut Milk
By Colombe Jacobsen
6 ears of corn (kernels only)
1 (14 oz.0 can coconut milk
4 cloves spring garlic (you may substitute with regular garlic)
1-teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Juice of one lime
Water (as needed)
6 small edible flowers like pansies or nasturtium (optional garnish)
For the topping:
1-cup cooked fava beans
1-tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ancho Chile
1 Tablespoon on cilantro, finely chopped
Sauté the spring garlic until just golden. Add the jalapeno (without the seeds) and the corn. Sauté until corn is cooked through then add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Blend in a blender or vita mix and using a fine mesh strainer, strain into a bowl. Then add limejuice and salt to taste. Thin out with cold water, until it has your desired consistency. (Keep in mind the soup will thicken even more when chilled.) If serving chilled, place in refrigerator and cool.
Prepare the topping. In a small bowl add the olive oil, cooked fava beans and ancho Chile and chopped cilantro.
Remove the soup from the refrigerator. Give it a stir and add more water if it is too thick. Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary. Pour into 4 bowls and add a dollop of the topping in the center of the bowl. If I have edible flowers on hand, I like to add one or two as a colorful garnish.