As the deep cold of winter slips away, we leave behind us those rich and hearty winter soups that punctuate our November-February menus. But I like soup at any time of year, and even in the summer, I’m happy to serve hot soup. Still, I tend to stay away from the heavier soups like minestrone and bean in favor of the lighter vegetable soups.
Here’s one that I found in Bill Granger’s “Everyday Asian” recipe book for a beautiful corn soup. (Since buying this book, I have made several recipes from it and without fail, they’ve all been terrific, with spot on instructions, so I highly recommend this one if you like Asian dishes made easy.) It took me about 15 minutes to make the soup from start to finish (how’s that for quick?). Instead of using fresh corn as per the recipe, I used frozen, and not only was it delicious, but it cut about 10 minutes out of the prep time. And on top of it all, it’s parev!
This recipe calls for Mirin, which is a sweet rice wine. I was very happy to find it in my little local spice shop, which means it’s available in stores around Israel that stock Asian ingredients. But if you can’t find any or don’t have any at home, you can substitute for it by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of sugar into a half a cup of white wine and that should do the trick. In general, we love Asian flavors in my house, so I make sure I have the basic Asian ingredients in my kitchen at all times – fresh ginger and garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and now…mirin! With these in my pantry, I am ready to whip up this soup at any time and in no time, and I’m glad I can.
SUPER QUICK ASIAN CORN SOUP
2 tablespoons oil
8 green onions with the white and green parts separated and chopped (or one small onion finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
600-700 g (1½ lbs) fresh corn kernels or frozen corn
1 liter (1 quart) parev chicken soup stock
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons mirin (or mirin substitute)
Salt and black pepper
How to do it
1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot. Add the chopped white parts of the green onion or the onion and saute until they’re soft – about 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or two making sure not to burn the garlic.
2. Add the stock and the corn to the pot, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes till tender if you’re using fresh corn, or for about 5 minutes if you’re using frozen corn.
3. Switch off the heat and puree half the soup – I use a hand-held blender, and I puree the soup partially. Return to the heat (medium-low) and pour the eggs into the soup in a thin stream, while stirring constantly. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sliced green onions as garnish.
Serves about 5.