Smoked Corn, Coconut and Shrimp Soup – Crispy Chard and Garlic Chip Salad with Sesame – Lime Vinaigrette
SUMMER is IMMINENT…
Typically, I avoid eating soup this time of year, especially since it’s been so warm here in South Florida. I was in the mood for something comforting, yet smokey and summery. It’s just what I wanted, the soup is light and silky with a touch of smoke; a celebration to the warmer months ahead of us. The shrimp is gently cooked in the soup just before serving, we enjoyed it warm, not piping hot. In my opinion, the fish sauce is the star of any dish. Unless you are a Vegan, don’t omit it, it really adds a special layer. I use a lot of it, as you can probably tell by the empty bottle above, I had just enough for this recipe.
The baby chard was beautiful at the market, the leafs were so tender they required little, if any, cooking at all. The obvious choice for me would have been to make it into a salad, but I really wanted something crunchy to go with the soup, so why not make a crispy chard salad? It was light, crisp and really flavorful with the lime juice, soy and garlic oil. Don’t be shy with the garlic chips either; because the garlic was blanched in milk before frying, the flavor is sweet and mild. Be careful not to over cook the garlic, they will become bitter. I pull the chips out of the oil while they are slightly undercooked, by the time you get them on the paper towels they will be perfect. Also, immediately scatter them into one layer on the paper towels, if they are touching each other the oil won’t be able to drain properly and they will become soggy. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while warm.
I have to say, this is officially my new favorite salad. You can use any variety of chard or kale for this recipe, the cooking time may vary slightly.