Nothing says summer like fresh, sweet corn (and juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes).
Grilled corn probably comes to mind. Slathered with butter (a must).
Today, I went a different route.
I really enjoy a good bowl of soup. Just about any kind of soup. However, when it’s 90F outside, you’re probably not thinking, ‘oh, a warm comforting bowl of soup will hit the spot.’
But, how about a chilled soup? A smooth, creamy (sans cream) bowl of chilled corn soup. This is a simple soup (fresh corn, leek, shallot, and garlic), just a few ingredients so as to not overpower the taste of the sweet, summer corn. There’s lots of good corn flavor going on here.
The refreshing salad that accompanies this soup — corn, cherry tomatoes, [Thai] basil, minced jalapeno, and smoked mussels — adds another layer of lightness and freshness, not to mention flavor.
I like the smoky mussels. Am a big fan of the Duck Trap smoked mussels (Belfast, Maine). You could easily smoke the mussels in a stovetop smoker, just a few minutes until the mussels pop open. Or, you could substitute some smoked fish (hot smoked salmon would be nice).
It’s a quick and easy soup to pull together, 20 minutes is all you need, and then just chill in the fridge. It’s light and refreshing on a warm summer’s day.
Once you are ready to serve, all you need to do is prep your garnishes — cherry tomatoes, minced jalapeno, fresh corn, a few [Thai] basil leaves, and smoked mussels (already cooked). Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
I used the corn cobs and other vegetables scraps I had on hand to make a quick vegetable stock…
Chilled Corn Soup
serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil
1 leek, cleaned well and chopped
2 small shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 ears of non-GMO corn (5 cups plus a bit extra for garnish)
4 cups vegetable stock (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
squeeze of lime
Heat the butter/olive oil in a soup pot. Add the leek, shallot, and garlic and saute until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, season with salt (~ 1 teaspoon) and pepper, and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the stock and simmer another 6-8 minutes until the corn is soft. Transfer to a high speed blender. Add a squeeze of lime. Blend until very smooth. Taste and re-season, adding more salt or lime juice.
Let cool. Chill in the refrigerator. Once you are ready to serve, re-blend, adding more stock if needed.
Serve with with some or all of the suggested garnishes.
cherry tomatoes, quartered
corn kernals, raw
smoked mussels (or smoked fish, such as hot smoked salmon)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil