Friday, September 2, 2011

FFWD: corn soup

I've gotta say, I love vacation. I'm home from work this week, just kicking back at home, going on walks with the pups, reading obsessively (finished Little Bee this weekend - so good but such an emotional drain!), and of course cooking. Also blogging about cooking, something that just hasn't happened ever since work took a turn for the ridiculously busy.

At the start of the week, I wrote out a menu, took Mr Leaven shopping, and I've kept his tummy full of new and delicious dishes all week. Tonight was corn soup, this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe. Yippee for me, because corn is one of my favorites. In China I tried a corn popsicle and I've been looking for a duplicate ever since. I've been thinking about trying to make some corn ice cream - I have one ear left in the fridge that's been earmarked (hee) for that purpose. I hear that the new ice cream food truck in town, Eatsie Boys, has a sweet corn flavor, and the next time we head to the big city I'm going to have to sample that.



Back to dinner. The corn soup was divine. What really put it over the top was the corn-bacon-scallion-pepper garnish. And the yogurt. The recipe suggested a dollop of creme fraiche, but I added a generous dollop of Greek yogurt, which complemented the sweet soup to perfection.


I like the idea of steeping corn cobs in hot milk to extract all that corn flavor. It added a little kick to the soup. I stuck very closely to the recipe as printed, except to add a leek to the vegetable mixture, mostly because I had an extra leek around.


Dorie has posted the recipe in Bon Appetit, and it's available on Epicurious, so no need to buy a copy of Around My French Table for this (although there are lots of other reasons to buy this cookbook - like the fact that it's only $22.72 now!).


We had the corn soup solo, with some herbed brioche the only accompaniment. That and an awesome cocktail that Mr Leaven created with some jalapeno simple syrup, lime, and vodka. Wow. Life is good.

Summer Corn Soup
3 cups whole milk
3 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs, cobs broken in thirds and reserved
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 cups water
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
Ground white pepper and sea salt, to taste

Garnish:
2 thick bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup fresh corn kernels cut from about 1/2 ear of corn
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 small red pepper, seeds removed and minced, or pinch of cayenne

Crème fraîche or Greek yogurt
Bring milk and corncob pieces just to boil in heavy medium pot. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep while sautéing vegetables.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes (do not let onion brown). Add corn kernels, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water, herb sprigs, bay leaf, and milk with corncobs. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.


Discard corncobs, herb sprigs, and bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender (immersion blender is perfect here) until very smooth. If you want a smoother soup, strain into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible (I didn't strain). Season soup to taste with salt and white pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

For garnish:
Mix all ingredients. DO AHEAD:Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Rewarm soup over medium heat (if it's cooling). Divide among bowls. Sprinkle garnish over, drizzle with crème fraîche or yogurt, and serve.

Check out all the other interpretations of Dorie's corn soup at FFWD!

9 comments:

  1. Very nice - and the cocktail sounds pretty wonderful too!
    Enjoy what's left of your time off.

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  2. How fun to have the whole week off! Your soup's garnishes look so tempting! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts.

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  3. Your "staycation" sounds very inviting. I loved the contrast of the smooth soup and variety of garnishes. So many possibilities!

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  4. Corn is so versatile ...either roasted or steamed or in soup, they taste fantastic and now you mentioned ice cream...I am for it too :) Your garnishes makes the soup even more flavorful !

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  5. Lucky you to have the whole week off from work! Your soup looks delicious and I bet was wonderful with that cocktail.

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  6. I had jalapeno in my soup, but you had it in your cocktail. Yum! Your soup looks delicious.

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  7. Herbed brioche! That sounds wonderful. I can definitely relate to workloads becoming too crazy to allow for food blogging and all those great things you got to do while on vacation.

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  8. First - soup looks great. I was happy with this recipe too. Second, that cocktail sounds like a perfect accompaniment. I love to infuse, and am now adding jalapeno syrup to the list. Third, if you make corn ice cream, let me know!! I've come across several mentions of it and included it in my mini-corn round up. Am wondering about the flavor...

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  9. Sounds like you made the most of your holiday! This was a great soup. Definitely going to become a corn season standard for our household. I've been hearing about corn ice cream everywhere lately. Cher made it to great success at her house. It sounds...interesting, but perhaps could be as big a hit as this soup was.

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