Every New Year I make a resolution: To get on the fast track to a healthy diet. To cleanse myself of all the junk I've been gorging on over the holidays. To eat better so I can feel better. Just kidding.
I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. Every day's a new opportunity to be a better you. So why not embrace each day as a new day and make self-improvement a never-ending process?
But I will admit that after the holidays I start to feel guilty about my indulgent holiday diet. So the "cleanse" part is true.
It's hard to suddenly go from garlic-crusted prime rib roast, creamy mashed potatoes, lechon, pansit and lumpia (hey, this is how Filipinos do Christmas) to a dry salad. I still want to eat hot, filling meals.
And so, since it's a chilly 65 degrees in Los Angeles, I whipped up a pot of one of my favorite soups. This curried corn bisque has a little extra kick -- a more ethnic flavor, more spice and above all, it's less sodium-saturated and more healthy. I worked off of EatingWell's Curried Corn Bisque and with a few of my own modifications, it even became a favorite among my family.
Serves: 8-10 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil 1 large chopped onion 3 tablespoons curry powder 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional) 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 16-ounce packages frozen corn (thawed) 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups water 1 cup lite coconut milk 2 stalks green onion (for garnish)
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons curry powder, Sriracha, salt and pepper and stir to coat the onions.
2. Stir in corn, broth and water; increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender (in batches), or puree with an immersion blender into a thick, homogeneous texture.
4. Pour the bisque into a clean pot (this makes blending in batches easier), add coconut milk, and if needed, add a pinch more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, about 20-30 minutes. Serve and garnish with the chopped green onions on top.
My Notes: How much curry and how little curry? I consider myself a curry fiend. But I understand not everyone wants that strong flavor. If you do want a milder taste, 2 tablespoons curry would be ideal. I felt that EatingWell's recommendation of 1 tablespoon was too bland and resulted in more of a plain corn soup.
What kind of coconut milk? You should be able to easily find canned coconut milk in the ethnic foods aisle at your local grocery. If you go to an Asian market, you'll likely find there are at least a dozen variations of coconut milk and coconut juice. Be sure you don't purchase coconut juice as the texture and flavor are completely different. Coconut milk usually comes in a can.
Sriracha vs. any hot sauce. I'm a firm believer that this soup absolutely must be made with Sriracha and not just because I'm obsessed with it. Sriracha has the perfect consistency and the perfect boldness that keeps the texture of the soup while cutting through the coconut and hitting your tastebuds. While I do like Cholula and Tapatio, those aren't the right hot sauces for this soup. Of course, if you don't want spicy soup, you can skip this ingredient altogether.