5 ears of corn, shucked
3 tbsp. butter
1 large leek or 2 medium leeks—trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 red or green chiles (such as jalapeño or Fresno), finely chopped
1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or cut into matchsticks
4 large cloves garlic, chopped or grated
3 tbsp. red curry paste
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 can (14 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 lb. medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
2 limes—1 juiced (about 2 tbsp.), 1 cut into wedges for serving
1 cup fresh Thai basil or regular basil, torn or sliced into thin ribbons
¼ cup fresh mint leaves or cilantro leaves, chopped
Invert a small bowl inside a large bowl. Stand 1 ear of corn on the small bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut off the kernels. Use the flat edge of the knife to scrape the juices from the cob. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn.
In a blender, puree half the corn with 1/2 cup water.
In a pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the leek, bell pepper, chiles, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the corn puree, stock, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, lime juice, and the remaining corn. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Divide the soup among bowls. Top with the herbs. Serve with the lime wedges.