Last month I ate at Bonsoiree. It’s one of those fine dining multi-course places, but no jacket or tie are required. I’d always wanted to eat at a multi-course place during the summer when the chefs would have the best of the Midwest’s cornucopia to choose from, although eating multi-courses in summer kind of goes against the grain. Anyhow, one of the courses stayed with me, in a good way. It was a chilled corn soup. It was fantastic.
Summer is waning and I love a cool soup. I’ve got a perfect gazpacho and a perfect fruit soup but I didn’t have a perfect corn soup, heck I wasn’t even thinking about cold corn.
Chilled Corn Soup, featured in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food (yes, I changed it)
8 ears corn
1 3/4 c whole milk (do not make it skim or 2%, I’m begging you)
¼ c cream
2 T. EVOO
2 T. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced (don’t do this until just before serving)
Salt, preferably Kosher
Pepper, preferably white
Remove ends of corn (that’s the pointed end) and stand, one ear at a time in a shallow and wide bowl, I used my casserole Corning ware. Shuck corn and then cut kernels off the cobs. Place cobs in a large pot. Add the milk and 6 c. of water. Boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove cobs from pot.
While cobs are simmering, heat EVOO and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is glistening, add shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add corn and cook for 4 minutes. Salt and pepper (I used white pepper) to taste. Set aside ½ c of kernels. Add sautéed corn to pot of corn milk and bring to a boil. Add ¼ c. of cream and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
In batches, fill blender with soup and puree until smooth. Set up a large bowl with a fine mesh sieve over it. Pour pureed soup into sieve and press on the solid matter to extract the liquid. Once you’ve completed that throw away the solids. Adjust the seasoning and chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight to permit the flavors to meld.
Garnish each bowl with bell pepper and reserved corn.