Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Corn Soup a la Patricia Wells
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Please, Please, Please.... If you haven't had this soup, try it now while fresh corn is still available. I can't say enough good things about this very simple starter. Freshly shucked corn is scraped from the cob and simmered, along with the cobs, in a low fat milk. The flavor of the corn infuses the milk which thickens slightly as it cooks. The mixture is then pureed to almost perfect smoothness before being seasoned with salt and pepper. The soup is finished with a garnish of fresh cilantro and a sprinkling of smoked Spanish paprika. It's the creation of Patricia Wells and it is another example her simply elegant handling of ingredients. I've made no changes to her recipe. I do, however, capture and use all the "milk" from the scraped cobs and let the soup steep for an hour more than the recipe suggests. I rarely get excited about recipes, but this one made my socks go up and down. I've frozen a more than adequate quantity for our Thanksgiving dinner. It is easy, inexpensive and would make a perfect first course for a holiday meal. The sprinkling of smoked paprika takes the soup to another level, so be sure to use it. It adds flair and a unique flavor component to the soup. I know you'll love this. Here's how it's made.
Addendum: This recipe works only with fresh sweet corn. The cob and "milk" both add additional flavor that gives the soup its intensive corn taste.
Corn Soup a la Patricia Wells...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Patricia Wells
3 ears fresh corn, shucked
6 cups 1% milk
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/4 fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)
about 1 teaspoon hot smoked spanish pimentón de la Vera
1) With a sharp knife scrape kernels off corn cobs. Be sure to catch any milky liquid that is released while you do this.
2) Place kernels, cobs and milky liquid in a saucepan or skillet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add milk and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook at a bare simmer for 45 minutes. I let mine simmer for an hour and then sit for an hour before proceeding.
3) Remove corn cobs, and put milk and corn mixture in a blender and puree until corn is broken up but still maintains a bit of texture. Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
4) Just before serving, garnish with pimentón and cilantro. Serve warm or cold. Yield: 6 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Farmer's Market Corn Salsa - Christine's Cuisine
Buttermilk Corn Bread - Sea Salt with Food
Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup - Closet Cooking
Fresh Corn and Tomato Pie - Sass and Veracity
Fresh Corn and Tomato Saute - The Parsley Thief
Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup - Meats, Roots and Leaves
Corn and Edamame Succotash - One Perfect Bite
Sweet Corn Ice Cream - One Perfect Bite