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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.

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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, 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 cup of corn (reserve this 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 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.

 

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