I’m in garde manger, and level 5 has a corn chowder on their menu. My group sneaked a few ladles of it because it is so delicious!!!! It tasted like pure “heart attack” – reduced cream and sweet corn. I thought the soup was odd for the current season. If I was dining at L’Ecole on a hot humid day, I would not want hot creamy soup as my appetizer. Even in the kitchen, we were taking sips of it and then mouthfuls of ice cold water because it’s so hot in the kitchen. For the first two days, I was working on the lobster dish, which is a cold dish. I wasn’t even near the stove yet my legs were trickling with sweat! Nahhhh-stayyy!!
I was going to make an exact replica of the corn bisque from school but it’s so unhealthy. There was bacon grease, reduced cream, and lots and lots of butter!!! I like Thai influences so I came up with this. And it tasted BETTER; better in my opinion since it’s healthier!!!! No butter. No cream. No milk.
For the Chowder
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ears corn, shucked and cores reserved (broken in half)
- 2 Idaho potatoes, chopped into small squares
- 4 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
- 2 TBS Ginger, grated
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 lime, juiced and zested with a peeler
- Bouquet garni – 8 black peppercorns, Thai basil, cilantro stems, lemongrass
stalk (smashed & cut into thirds), lime zest
- One 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
In a large pot/pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over low heat and then sweat onions until translucent. Add smashed garlic, ginger, and leek whites and continue to sweat until soft. Season gently. Add in the celery, potato, corn cores, bouquet garni, and enough water to cover halfway. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Then add in corn kernels and lime juice to pot and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Remove cores and add in coconut milk until boiling. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until simmering. Remove from the heat and strain and then blend with an immersion or regular blender.
For the Finnish
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves, garnish
Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with radishes and cilantro leaves. Soup can be either hot or cold to serve.