Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curried Coconut Potato and Fish Soup



The other day I was going through some old recipes, and found one I'd come up with a long time ago for fish and corn chowder.  It's funny to read through old recipes I wrote up and see how my own preparation methods and cooking techniques have changed over the years.  Although I still have plenty of cooking experiments that just don't work at all, like the roasted red pepper and tomato yogurt aioli I made one night last week to drizzle on salmon...  just ask Jamie how awful it was!  But he's so sweet, he'd never tell.  :)

We've been enjoying some gorgeous sunny weather this week, but the nights are still getting pretty chilly, so I thought we should have at least one more soup night before it's really spring...  Maybe we can call this "rainy day" soup, good for a cool, drizzly spring day.

It almost never rains in Colorado, something I really miss from growing up in South Carolina.  I wish we had some rain to clean out the air, because the warmth and wind has been carrying an unusually high amount of pollen, and Jamie's been miserable for weeks.  Somehow, I haven't been affected yet, which is strange since I usually have pretty bad allergies in the spring and fall.  But I'm sure my turn will come.




As I was getting ready to make the soup, I found a can of coconut milk in the cupboard, as well as some star anise, which I've been wanting to use just because they're so pretty, but haven't yet as I'm a little wary of the strong licorice scent.  I was afraid they'd make my soup taste like licorice.  But my desire to see them in the soup won out, and my fish and corn chowder evolved into a complex and creamy coconut curry fish soup with star anise.

I'm so glad I made this, because the flavors of the star anise, cinnamon and cardamom were subtle enough to just complement the coconut and curry, the corn added a nice little crunch, and the tender potatoes and chunks of fish were complete comfort food.

Now if only the rain would come...





Curried Coconut Potato and Fish Soup
printable recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 cup fish stock (or substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 pound red potatoes (3-4 small), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can white or yellow corn, drained
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise (plus extra for garnish)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces (Cod works well in this recipe)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach

 In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the coconut milk, evaporated milk, fish stock, red potatoes, corn, curry powder, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the flavors have developed, about 20-30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

A few minutes before serving, add the fish and spinach to the pot.  Place the lid on and let the fish poach in the broth until cooked through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

For a dramatic presentation, serve each bowl of soup with a star anise floating on the broth.

Yields 6 servings.
WW Points Plus Value:  7 points per serving

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen