A few days ago it was unusually rainy and chilly for August. Now normally conditions such as these would have sent me into gales of weather-related complaints, but this time I didn't mind at all. Why? Because it gave me the excuse to use all the wonderful fresh corn that's around right now and make this terrific corn soup. Cool weather, hot weather--it's kinda perfect anytime!
Not sure if this is true for where you live, but the corn we've been having here in the Northeast has been particularly sweet and tasty this year. And using fresh corn sends this simple soup over the top!
Yup, simple is the operative word here because this soup is little more than boiling the corn kernels with a bit of milk, sautéing some onions and cooking everything down together before you purée the whole thing with an immersion blender (quite possibly my favorite kitchen tool--see this post where I rhapsodize about its merits and explain its criticalness in the kitchen!)
This is sort of like a chowder in that it's creamy but there's a light summeriness to it too. Part of that comes from the fact that it's the pureeing of the potato and corn that gives this its creamy texture and not heavy cream and the fact that there's a generous amount of fresh basil in here too. Every bite is awesome and loaded with flavor! Pair it with a salad and some crusty bread and you've got the perfect summer dinner!
My best advice to you: no matter what the temps are, start shucking those cobs and make this NOW while fresh corn is still in season!! You can always crank up the AC!!!
Summer Corn Soup
Makes 6-8 servings
You will need an immersion blender, food processor or blender for this.
Prep Time: Less than one hour and much of that is hands-free time
- 5 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels cut off
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 10 fresh basil leaves, stems removed, cut into thin strips
1. Place the corn kernels and milk in a large pot and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Then lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a large deep saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onion and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Then add the celery and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the celery is soft. Add the garlic and stir constantly, letting it cook for 1 minute. Be careful not to let it get brown or burned. Add in the potato, broth, salt and pepper and turn the heat to medium-high to bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes have softened.
3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to the corn mixture in the pot and add half the basil. If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth, or almost totally smooth (this is good with a bit of texture) right in the pot, but be careful it doesn't splash up at you. If not, transfer about half the soup to the blender or food processor and purée. Pour the puréed part into another pot or the deep saucepan (no need to wash it) and purée the rest of the soup. If the soup seems too thick add a bit more broth. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately.
4. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in the microwave or on top of the stove.
Note: Recipe adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. I used yellow corn instead of white and cut down the amount of basil.