Is this really Indonesian? I’m not sure. Is it good? YES. (And I’m just calling it Indonesian Corn Chowder because Healthy Hedonist did.)
Before we get to the recipe though, I have a really important topic to discuss: Lunch.
I am a total leftover person. I think I inherited it from my mom, who has lived on leftovers for lunch my whole life. I actually get really disappointed if Mike and I finish everything I’ve cooked for dinner because WHAT am I supposed to do about lunch!?
I’m assuming there are two camps: the I-pack-last-night’s-dinner-in-Tupperware camp, and the sandwich camp. My dad is most definitely in the second group, because while my mom eats leftovers, my dad eats PB & J every.single.day.
Which camp do you fall into? If you don’t eat leftovers or a sandwich, then what do you do for lunch?! (I realize lots of people buy lunch…but that’s not going to happen for me).
One other brief detour, and then I PROMISE we’ll get to the soup. See these shoes?
I got them FOR FREE! Somehow, a few weeks ago when we were volunteering at a trail race, I ended up getting a certificate for a free pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running Shoes. Since I have a 50K coming up far too soon, trail shoes seemed like a fairly crucial investment, so I ordered these and today was my first time running in them. Pretty they are not, but they are super comfy. Maybe not 31 miles comfy, but I’m pretty excited about them!
OK, back to the topic at hand.
I like this soup for several reasons:
1. It’s good (obviously)
2. It’s vegan (yay!)
3. You get to make a bouquet garni (very few things make me feel like a chef, but making a bouquet garni definitely does.)
It’s not a boring bouquet garni either. This one has cilantro stems, lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chiles. Yes, please! And don’t worry if you can’t handle spicy food, the Thai chiles really don’t add any heat.
(adapted from The Healthy Hedonist)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 small stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb bag frozen corn, divided
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 3″ pieces
4 thin slices ginger
12 cilantro stems
2 Thai chiles, halved lengthwise
4 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp lime juice
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until soft (about 10 minutes).
Add the garlic and about 3/4 of the corn and cook for about 4 more minutes.
Stir in the water and 1/2 tsp salt.
Put the lemongrass, ginger, chiles, and cilantro stems in the middle of a piece of cheesecloth and tie securely into a bundle. Drop into the soup, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.
Remove the lemongrass bundle and discard it. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
Stir in the remaining corn. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Stir in the lime juice, then ladle into bowls and top with diced tomatoes.
To make a complete dinner, I served this with a big bowl of salad with peanut dressing. In the salad was some thinly sliced cabbage, grated carrot, chopped fresh spinach, diced tomato, and cubes of pan-fried tofu. Drizzle with peanut dressing.
3 cloves smashed garlic
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup PB
6 tbsp warm water
Blend all ingredients together, adding additional water if necessary.