Chilled Fresh Corn Soup

This, the flavor of high summer in Vermont

We stop at the farm stand and get a dozen ear of corn when it is beautiful and bountiful. And cheap. Between my husband and myself, we eat three. I’ll cut the kernels off the rest, use what I need for the soup (including the cobs) and freeze the rest for use over the winter. Using the cobs in this recipe adds an immense amount of flavor, so don’t skip this step. Let them work as long as possible! If your corn is really early, or really late, in the season and not as sweet as you would like, add a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Our ritual is to make this after a supper of corn, and let it sit overnight. Tomorrow’s supper is just a blender’s task away.

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pint milk, or other white

Shuck the corn. Over a large bowl, cut off the kernels, setting aside the cobs. You should have between 2 and 3 cups depending on the size of your ears. When you have all the kernels off, run all sides of each cob against a hand grater to extract as much of the milk and pulp as possible. Set the cobs aside again.

In a large, deep skillet, sauté the onion in the olive oil and butter. Do not let this brown, but cook for 8 to 10 minutes until nice and soft. Add the corn kernels and the pulp and corn milk, salt and pepper to taste.

Place the cobs in the pot, and cover all with three cups of water or so. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 20 minutes. Add the milk or non-dairy product and mix everything up.

This will need to sit overnight in the refrigerator, or at least six hours to completely chill and let the flavors enhance.

When ready, fish out the cobs, scraping off as much of the soup as possible. Now, finally, you can place them in the compost bucket!  Working in batches, puree in the blender as smooth as possible.

If you want to make this really smooth and pretty, put everything through a fine mesh strainer, pressing against the sides with a spatula. I don’t bother with this step because I like the texture better, and don’t want to waste the fiber! Taste and correct the seasoning.

You can eat this as is, or top with a drizzle of chili oil, crème fraiche, some minced chives, minced bacon or bacon substitute, and any other herb you fancy.

It is quite inviting with some peppery, edible nasturtium flowers to garnish!

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