Equally delicious warm or chilled, this corn soup tastes just like summer.
I’m fresh off a trip out west filled with good food, good friends and all things touristy. Even though I lived in California for a few years, I never made it as far north as Seattle. So we began our trip there and finished with a few days in LA. The weather was perfection. 80’s and sunny and none of the sticky humidity we deal with in July on the east coast. We walked, snapped photos, explored, ate and walked some more.
We had more than our fill of seafood in Seattle including sampling chowder in at least three or four different places. It got me thinking that I need to work on my chowder recipe for a future post. It also made me realize that I haven’t shared a summer soup recipe on the blog before. As much as I like cozying up with a bowl of soup in the cooler months, I love the comfort of soup just as much in the summer.
We spend the bulk of the summer at the shore where we have a bunch of little fish shacks sprinkled around. We often swing by to pick up fresh fish or crab for dinner and the occasional quart of bisque or chowder. Even on a hot day there’s something about a cup of chowder that is almost necessary when you’re so close to the ocean.
Equally necessary during the summer in New Jersey are tomatoes and fresh corn. In addition to the Sopranos and Taylor Ham, NJ is known for it’s summer produce and we are in peak season right now. I was tempted to make a cold, chunky, tomato gazpacho but changed my mind when I saw big baskets of fresh corn delivered to the farmers market. I knew that freshly shucked corn would make the sweetest summer soup. And it did.
The flavor is delicate but vibrant. After the kernels are cut off the cob, I simmer the cobs in stock to pull out as much corn flavor as possible. Leave the stock to gently simmer while you prep the rest of the ingredients and cook down the vegetables. Once the soup comes together and simmers for about 15-20 mins, puree it until it reaches your desired consistency (I like a little texture) and stir in the sour cream. I prefer sour cream to heavy cream or half and half because it adds just a little acidity to balance the sweetness of the corn. We ate ours warm from the stove for dinner, but I found the leftovers were just as good pulled from the refrigerator and served chilled the following day. Either way, it’s a soothing, summery bowl of comfort.
- 8 ears of corn, husked
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup sour cream,
- Kosher salt and white pepper
- To garnish: sour cream, steamed corn kernels, fresh thyme, and parsley
Cut kernels off of the cob, reserving the cobs. (Tip: Place a small bowl inverted into a large bowl and stand one ear of corn up vertically on the bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off in a downward motion.)
Place the cobs in a large saucepan and cover with stock and 2 cups water.
Cover and heat over low. While the stock simmers, heat the oil over medium heat in another large pot or dutch oven.
Add the peppers and celery to the oil and reduce the heat to medium/low. Cook the peppers and the celery for 3-4 mins. Add the onion and the garlic and cook another 5-6 mins. Season with kosher salt. Don't get any color on the vegetables, just cook them until they're softened.
Remove the cobs from the stock (you can discard them) and add the stock and the corn kernels (reserving 1/4 cup for garnish) to the onion mixture.
Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender until smooth(ish), but still with a little texture. Add the sour cream and puree until blended.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish and serve warm or chilled.