Sweet Corn Soup

Sweet Corn Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Last week, when contemplating a fine haul of goodies from the market, I invented this soup. With the exception of the spices (salt, pepper, and Espelette pepper), cream and olive oil, all ingredients come from the Oakmont Farmers Market and all are available this week. I generally don’t like to brag, but this soup was really tasty. However, I also know the reason it tasted so good was the ingredients – not my cooking, alas. Espelette pepper is something of a specialty item (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espelette_pepper) and not easy to find, but you can substitute smoked paprika.
Ingredients
  • 4 ears of fresh sweet corn, preferably white (from Fruitwood Orchards)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced (available from Blueberry Hill Farm and Wimer’s Organics)
  • 3 cups good-quality chicken stock (I make my stock from Lindenhof chickens but you can now buy ready-made (frozen) stock from Lindenhof directly, and thus make your life a tad easier)
  • ½ cup half and half cream
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (from Wimer’s)
  • ¾ teaspoon Espelette pepper (use only 1/2 teaspoon if using smoked paprika)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot of water until boiling and cook the cleaned corn ears for several minutes (no more than 4; you don’t want to cook them completely). Pull them out of the water and let them cool. When cool enough to handle, place in a large bowl and using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs. Put corn kernels aside until needed for the soup.
  2. In a medium-sized stock pot heat the olive oil and add the diced onions. You’ll want to cook these over a medium/low heat until they are brown and caramelized (about 15-20 minutes) – don’t heat them too quickly or they will lose their sweet flavor and become bitter. When they are caramelized add the stock and the reserved corn kernels, and turn the heat back up to medium. Allow to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, then, using an immersion blender, blend until creamier but still chunky. (Alternately, you can place the soup in a regular blender and process for a few short bursts and replace the soup in the pot). Add the Espelette pepper, salt and black pepper to taste, and the cream, and stir. Turn off the heat. Add the cilantro and stir again, and serve. Four servings.