Here's a classic summer soup to try out: Corn chowder! What makes this dish work really well is the sauteed bacon which adds a dash of smokiness to this rather light soup. When it comes to cutting the corn, you'll want to make sure to not cut too deep for fear of getting too much of the cob.
- 8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 strips of bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 large, yellow onion chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 5 cups water 3/4lb Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
First, use a corn stripper or a shark chef's knife to cut the kernels from the corn into a bowl and set aside. Holding the cobs over a second bowl, use the back of a knife to scrape off any remaining pulp into the bowl. You should end up with about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the pulp and about 5 to 6 cups of kernels.
Put the pulp in the center of a clean kitchen towel and set it into a medium bowl. Use the towel to strain the juice from the pulp by wrapping it tight and squeezing until it's dry. You should have about 2/3 cup juice.
In a dutch oven over medium heat melt the butter, then add bacon, thyme, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir frequently and cook until the onion is softened and edges are beginning to brown: this should be about 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, and make sure to constantly stir for two minutes. Gradually add water and bring to a boil. Add the kernels, potatoes and bay leaf to the boiling mixture, then return to a simmer and reduce heat until medium-low. Cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are softened.
Use a blender or food processor to process two cups of the chowder (Make sure you didn't pick up the bay leaf) until it's smooth. Return the puree to the chowder, add the half-and-half, then return to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the corn juice, pull out the bay leaf, season with salt, pepper, and at most a tablespoon of sugar to taste. Give it a light sprinkling of basil when you serve.