Corn-Lover’s Soup

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Making soup from scratch can seem daunting. Opening a can seems so much easier. But soup from a can isn’t nearly as delicious as making your own. Challenge yourself with easy-to-make corn soup and get the added benefit that it is much less expensive and more nutritious.

At the height of summer, it had seemed as if every farmer was selling an endless supply of freshly picked corn. At our farmers market in California, bushels of corn were piled high, sometimes costing as little as $1 for three ears. We’d pack half a dozen ears into our shopping bag, happy that we could have grilled corn for dinner.

Now, with fall’s chill in the air, corn is quickly disappearing from the markets. If we want fresh corn on the cob, we have to rush to the market early, before the farmers sell out of what little is available. Using corn in a soup is such a fun way to say goodbye to summer.

Soup, the perfect comfort food

Even with the best restaurant food in the world, my soul craves a home-cooked meal. At the top of the list of what I need to eat is soup.

Some soups take hours to make. Not this recipe. Ten minutes to prep the vegetables, five to sauté, 15 to simmer and a meal in a bowl is ready to serve in 30 minutes.Homemade corn soup is the perfect comfort food.

To purée the vegetables, a hand-held mixer is easiest to use. If one is not available, a food processor or blender will get the job done.

To liven up the soup, add a mound of corn kernels that have been sautéed in butter. The whole kernels add crunch to each spoonful and a buttery taste of luxury in every bite.

A note about stocks: In most grocery stores, there is an abundance of packaged stocks, but, for the most part, even low-sodium stocks have high salt levels. If you make stock at home, you will save money, they will taste better and the salt content will be much lower. Poultry, meat and seafood stocks are easy to prepare and can be frozen in small containers to be used at a moment’s notice.

Hearty Corn Soup With Butter Sautéed Corn Kernel Garnish

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 ears corn, husks and silks removed, washed, kernels cut from the cobs, cobs discarded
1 medium yellow onion, stem, root end and skin removed, washed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, skins removed, finely chopped
½ cup Italian parsley, washed, leaves only, finely chopped
6 cups stock, preferably homemade, vegetable or chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons sweet butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Over a medium flame, melt 1½ tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add 2 cups corn, season with sea salt and pepper and sauté 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Set aside to use later.
  2. In a large saucepan, over a medium flame, sauté the remaining corn kernels, onion, garlic and parsley with olive oil, until softened and lightly browned. Add the remaining butter with the stock and simmer 15 minutes on a high flame.
  3. Lower the flame and, using a mixing wand or hand-held mixer, gently puree the solids. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Reheat the butter-sautéed corn.
  5. Ladle the hot soup into a bowl, place a generous amount of sautéed corn into the center and serve.

Zester Daily contributor David Latt is a television writer/producer with a passion for food. His new book, “10 Delicious Holiday Recipes” is available from Amazon. In addition to writing about food for his own site, Men Who Like to Cook, he has contributed to Mark Bittman’s New York Times food blogBittenOne for the Table and Traveling Mom. He continues to develop for television but recently has taken his passion for food on the road and is now a contributor to Peter Greenberg’s travel site and the New York Daily News online.

Photos, from top:

Fresh corn.

Corn soup.

Credits: David Latt

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Comments

Hod
on: 9/3/12
While this looks good, here in New England we use bacon and onions as a base, add milk and/or cream and call it Chowda'

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