From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to share this recipe with you while fresh sweet corn is still available. The recipe was developed in the CHOW test kitchen by Christine Gallary and she's created a soup that is truly memorable. Using a handful of inexpensive ingredients and simple techniques, she has produced one of the best corn soups that I have ever tasted. The soup is a bit messy to make because you have to strip kernels from the cob and then strain the finished soup through a fine mesh sieve before serving. Let me assure you, it's worth the effort. I am, however, ever mindful that time is precious, so I also tested this recipe using frozen shoepeg and standard corn. I found the shoepeg corn to be a great substitute for fresh kernels, but the results were less than spectacular when I used other varieties of frozen corn. I, obviously, was trying to find a way to extend the season for this soup. It is that good. I don't want to bore you with minutia, so let's get right to the recipe. Here's how the soup is made.
Chipotle Corn Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Christine Gallary and CHOW
8 ears white or yellow corn, shucked (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1/2 teaspoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups water
1) Remove corn kernels from cobs: Place a large container on a damp towel. Fold a paper towel into fourths and place it inside container. Stand one ear of corn on paper towel, using the stem as a handle. Using a paring knife, slice downward, letting kernels fall into container. Rotate cob and continue until all kernels have been removed. Discard the cob. Repeat with remaining corn (you should have about 6 cups of kernels). Discard paper towel. Set aside 1/2 cup of kernels.
2) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add chipotles, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and two-thirds of scallions. (Set aside remaining scallions to use as a garnish.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 3 minutes.
3) Add corn kernels, remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, milk, and water and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the flavors have melded and corn kernels are crisp yet tender (not mushy), about 15 minutes.
4) Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using a blender, purée soup in batches until smooth, removing small cap from blender lid and covering the hole with a kitchen towel (this allows steam from hot soup to escape and prevents blender lid from popping off). Pour blended soup through strainer, pressing on solids with a rubber spatula. Discard hulls.
5) Just before serving, stir in reserved 1/2 cup corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If serving chilled, refrigerate soup until cold, at least 3 hours. Garnish with the remaining scallions and serve. Yield: 4 servings.
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