Sunday, August 2, 2009

Simply Corn Soup

It's summer time in San Francisco and that means it's really chilly all the time, especially on the west side of time. Although it's cold soup time in most of the country with very hot weather, that's the furthest thing from my mind. It's scarf and jacket weather so here is a simple corn soup I made recently.

Summer is corn season so it's the perfect time to make a soup that is all corn and nothing but corn. There is a natural sweetness that may be a little overboard sometimes, so I contrast with some spice and acid. The fresher it is, the sweeter it will be; as it ages, the sugar turns into starch and the flavor dies. Try to buy it the same day or two of using it and during the peak of season, they are much cheaper.

Corn is a source of folate, dietary fiber, vitamin B1 & C, phosphorous and manganese; in other words, very good for you and so many ways to cook it. Don't forget, you can eat these raw as well. Just cut the corn kernels off and toss them into a salad, if you've never had them raw, you'll be very surprised at the taste. It tastes like corn with an extra crispiness, less sweet and slightly grassy - delicious!

So many ways to cook it:

Boiled or steam: simply cook shucked ears of corn in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. I've added a pat or two of butter to the cooking water which made the corn taste just a little bit better.

Grill with the husk or not: To grill with the husk, soak the untrimmed ears of corn in water for about 15 minutes completely submerged in water. Place soaked corn over hot coal and cook covered turning to avoid burning on one side and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. If the corn is very fresh, shuck the corn, toss lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and grill directly over hot coals. They will lightly pop, which a is good sign to turn the ears. Cooking time is much shorter without the husks, about 5 minutes to cook.

Or simply make a soup. To extract as much corn flavor as I can, I cut the corn kernels off the ear and used the ears to make a corn broth.

Corn Broth
5 ears of corn with kernels removed
6 cups of water (enough to cover the ears)
1 onion large diced
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 bay leaves

Place all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.


Simply Corn Soup
Olive oil
1 each (about 1 cup) yellow or white onion, medium diced
6 cloves crushed garlic
4 cups corn kernels from 5 ears
6 cups of corn broth
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a heated pot and cook onions and garlic until translucent.
Season with salt and pepper
Add corn kernels, season with salt and pepper and give it a stir.
Add corn broth and bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
With a hand blender puree the soup or use a blender. Puree to your liking, leave it a slightly chunky if you like texture in your soup or puree to a smooth consistency if that your thing.
Taste and season with salt, add freshly squeezed lime juice.
If the corn is really sweet, add 1 minced jalapeno or serrano chili with the onions.

I ate it straight but you can garnish the soup with a lime cream (fresh cream and lime juice) or with a pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, onions, corn, garlic and cilantro with olive oil and lime juice).

No comments: