Creamy Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

This simple soup pairs sweet corn with earthy shiitake mushrooms, achieving a delicious balance of flavors. One of our favorite dishes from Andrea Nyugen's Into The Vietnamese Kitchen, we love making this when we're craving a creamy soup but don't want the cream! Also, the rich shiitake mushrooms make this dish feel more substantial than a standard vegetable soup.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cups corn kernels, cut from 6 to 8 ears, or 2 pounds frozen corn kernels, thawed (try to get the sweetest corn possible)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 6 to 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or thinly sliced green scallion tops
  • 4-5 Makrut Lime Leaves (Optional, for a fragrant Thai flavor)

PREPARATION:

  1. To rehydrate the mushrooms: soak them for up to at least 8 hours or overnight in (any temperature) water to cover.
  2. In a 4 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until fragrant and soft. Add the corn, salt, and water, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the corn is very tender. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Position a coarse-mesh sieve on top of another saucepan. In batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor until velvety smooth. Pour each puréed batch through the sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard the solids. Add the mushrooms and set the soup aside until ready to serve. (The soup may be made up to 2 days in advance, cooked, and refrigerated)
  4. Reheat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. If the soup is too thick, thin it with water. Taste and add extra salt, if necessary. Ladle the soup into a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Sprinkle with chives, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

Source: Into The Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen