|Almost Summer Corn Soup|
|Right Food for the Season - Late Spring|
|Written by Michelle Lahey|
The act of shucking fresh, locally grown corn is not only therapeutic, but it also signals that it’s [almost] summer. And although we may be a little early on the corn front, we found some beautiful cobs at the Union Square Farmers’ Market last weekend.
Unfortunately, our grill had cooled down a bit too much before we put the cobs on, resulting in a rather al dente finished product. Faced with a fridge full of perfectly good corn cobs, I decided to turn them into a silky, flavorful soup – perfect for filling the time (and fresh corn void) until summer comes along.
The key to this soup is the corn stock. Like just about any homemade stock, this corn-based version is packed with fresh flavor – plus a kick of heat thanks to the peppercorns and crushed red pepper flakes. I used the greens from leeks that I had in my freezer, but feel free to throw in a chopped onion instead, if you so choose. Some fresh herbs (like thyme) would also be great in this stock, if you have them on-hand.
No matter what ingredients you use in your corn stock, I highly recommend serving this healthy soup with some crusty bread for dipping, or even alongside some grilled burgers or sausages. It’s on the thinner side, so a satiating entrée will complement it beautifully.
Now all you need is a spoon.
Almost Summer Corn Soup
Yields: 4 large servings
Adapted from Crepes of Wrath
For the Corn Stock:
6 ears yellow corn, kernels removed (set the kernels aside)
4 leek greens
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon peppercorns
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the Corn Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ large yellow onion, minced
Corn kernels from 6 ears of corn, ⅔ cup of kernels reserved
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Place your naked ears of corn in a large stock pot and cover with water, then add in your leek greens, thyme, peppercorns, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 45-50 minutes. Strain and discard the solids from the stock. Set the stock aside.
In a large pot, add your olive oil and heat to medium. Add in your minced onion and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the onion has become somewhat translucent. Add in all but ⅔ cup of corn (reserve this ⅔ cup to add at the end) and cook for another 5 minutes, then add in your garlic and stir for a minute or so, until fragrant. Add in your cumin, crushed pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, then pour in your stock (use a little less than what was made if you prefer a thicker soup*). Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
Once ready, use a food processor or immersion blender to puree your soup. Once smooth (or as smooth as you like), stir in the reserved ⅔ cup of corn kernels. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. This soup will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
*If you have any stock leftover, it will also freeze well for up to 2 months.