Saturday, November 12, 2011

Harvest-Time Creamy Corn Soup

Make as it, or add chicken and vegetables. As always, the better the corn, the better the soup. .

Tweaked from the reluctant gourmet....

The Basic Soup 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups fresh corn kernels
white pepper, to taste ( Add salt at the table)
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme
4 cups corn stock (below - or use low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock)
2 cups whole milkHot sauce, to taste – if you must

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add butter and oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add the corn kernels along with the  white pepper and thyme.  Cook corn kernels for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until the kernels just begin to color.  Watch your heat and don’t let them burn.

Stir in the corn stock, and whole milk.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Add a few drops of hot sauce, if you’d like.

Remove from the heat and carefully blend in batches until smooth.  When pureeing hot foods in a blender, be sure to only fill the blender jar halfway and to remove the center feed tube to let heat escape.  Start the blender on low speed first, then increase to high.

You can also blend this right in the pan with an immersion blender.  Check the consistency.  If you’d like it a little thicker, continue to simmer until it has reached your desired consistency.  If you think it is too thick, thin it out with a little broth, water or even some more cream.

Strain soup through a fine strainer and serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream.

To make a lower-fat version, stir in 3 tablespoons of corn starch or flour along with another tablespoon of oil after you’ve cooked the corn for about eight minutes.  Stir well and continue to cook for another minute or two before adding the corn stock or vegetable stock.

Corn Stock

cobs from which you cut the corn kernels, cut in half
3 large onions, scrubbed but unpeeled, cut into four pieces
1 shallot, scrubbed and unpeeled, cut in half
6 white peppercorns
A few thyme stems
2 bay leaves
6 cups cold water, or enough to just cover the cobs and vegetables

Put all the ingredients in a stock pot.  Add the water.

Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for three to four hours.

Spoon off any scum that rises to the surface.

Strain through a fine strainer.  If necessary, reduce over medium-high heat until you have four cups.