Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Simple Corn Soup

Do you buy your corn from the farmers' market?  If not, you should.  The difference in flavor and texture is amazing when the corn is picked fresh rather than shipped for days and lingering in a pile at the supermarket.

I get my corn from Stillman's Farms.  Since they pick it *the very same morning* as the farmers market, it is amazingly tender, juicy, and sweet, despite the fact that they don't grow the super-sweet varieties usually seen at the grocery store.

When it's this good, I often eat it raw straight off the cob.  Or I put it in everyone's favorite corn and black bean salad.  But, with summer at its end, I realized I had yet to make corn soup!  Not only had I promised myself I would this summer, but it's also a great way to preserve that corny freshness well into winter.

Okay, ready for the recipe?

- 8 ears of corn (about five cups of kernels cut from the cobs)
- 5 c. water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- a dash of black pepper

- Put everything in a big pot, (even the shorn cobs!), and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Carefully pour it into a blender and... blend it... until soupy.

Voila!  Seriously, this is a no-fuss dish.

However!  This is really only the beginning.  While you can certainly enjoy it like this, I like to enhance the flavor a bit.  In the photo at the top, I simmered the corn with a few tablespoons of minced chives and stirred in just a touch of butter at the end.  I topped it with a drizzle of basil pesto to serve.

In another batch that I made for freezing, I roasted a red pepper and added that to the blender, (be careful not to add to much or it can overpower the corn).  I froze individual portions that I will be able to easily thaw and even add to the flavor a bit more.  I'm thinking some roughly chopped cilantro and a dollop of greek yogurt one night.  Maybe some sauteed leeks or onions and another trip to the blender another night?

If you want to make a particularly elegant soup, you may want to strain it.  I didn't.  After I made it the first time I gave it a try and wasn't bothered at all by the little bits of 'corn kernel skin', as they were very tender , (another bonus of local corn: it hasn't been bred to be tough to hold up during travel), and finely blended.  But there are certainly times when you might not want that, so strain away!


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