Lately I have really been in an all-around inclusive Japanese fad as of this last week. For some reason I have been missing Japan as of late and probably due to this fact, I have wanted to relive my days as a Japanese alien/citizen. So, when my husband and I saw corn-on-the-cob at the farmer’s market/flea market this past Saturday, I knew what would end up on the menu. It was the first time my husband had heard of this sweet, thick Japanese soup called Corn Potage. (Actually I made it once before going vegan; I guess that is just how memorable that attempt was at the time.)
Have you heard of corn potage? It is traditionally French but the Japanese have a serious love attraction to corn on the cob and feast their addiction with this readably available adapted corn potage. It’s been a few years since I lived in Japan but while I stayed there it was available in all sorts of places, even steaming hot in vending machines alongside the country road next to cows! Since most Japanese houses do not have central heating like in America, hot drinks are usually available all year around to warm the cold. There is nothing like walking on a snow covered road for 20 minutes and grabbing a nice hot cup of steaming corn potage. In the summer it is both served warm and cold, depending on how the customer orders it.
Personally I have never lived or visited France but by sifting through recipes, I do believe the original corn potage was made with egg. In Japan, eggs are rather expensive so they are used sparingly as a special treat of protein instead of a thickener for soups. If you have had the chance to try medieval French corn potage, you might be interested in trying this variable version of the traditional for something different. “Corn Potage” basically means “potted dish” and commonly is just a thick soup. So potage can easily be made vegan by the usage of cornstarch or a roux of flour & a fat. This recipe I made from a Japanese recipe online at cookpad.com. It turned out just as I remember it from Japan and somehow it seemed even better knowing it was a healthy vegan version. Yum!
The hubby loved the corn potage also, even though he didn’t care for it the non-vegan way years ago. I think he liked this version since it has no heavy white cream and egg in it that sits heavy in the stomach. This recipe is savory, sweet, creamy and since it’s thick it can retain it’s thermal heat for longer periods of time. In fact we whipped this recipe up in about ten minutes (while making vegan tapioca pudding and Gardein wraps) and took it in a thermal container to-go. We took a nice 30 minute scenic walk to the park and then had dinner on a picnic blanket. It was steaming hot and we actually had to keep the lid of to release some heat before devouring. It was so tasty and filling! Perfect for a cool summer evening at the park…Mmmm
3 Ears Sweet Corn-on-Cob, fresh (or 200g canned)- cut off of cob
½ tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp vegan bouillon (chicken is preferred but for some reason it’s hard to find here now)
2 tbsp flour
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joes’ Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
A little salt and pepper to taste
1. Place oil in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion and corn kernels until this nice aroma spills out but don’t let it get brown.
2. Add the water and the ears of corn. (Yes, the kernels have been taken off but there is still a little starch and also tons of flavor left in the ears so add them in whole.) Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.
3. Once the corn kernels are cooked through (but not mushy- yuck!), take off the heat and add the milk and vegetable bouillon.
4. Toss in the blender or food processor and make it creamy.
5. Return to stove and add the flour to thicken up the soup. You can also do this when you are sautéing the onions but I prefer to do it afterwards. This should take no more than 1 minute.
6. You can add optional toppings such as chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped avocados or whatever you prefer but just remember it is a slightly sweet potage so it really doesn’t need much. Enjoy!