Yeah, I know it's been a while! It's not that I haven't been cooking, I just haven't had time to write about it!
I did a whole lot of cooking when my dad came up from Florida to visit for a few weeks. Of course we were too busy stuffing it in our faces for me to have a chance to take any photos. It's one thing to let my own plate get cold because I'm too busy taking photos, but I can't do that to someone else!
Then you might have heard about a certain hurricane named Irene. No apocalyptic disasters around my neighborhood, but she did leave us without power for a few days. Thank goodness for grills, iPhones and 3G.
And then... then I went to California! We spent a little over a week touring San Francisco, Big Sur, Yosemite and Wine Country. It was amazing and I'd say I want to live there, but I'm pretty sure I'd weigh about 600lbs if I did, especially if I was anywhere near San Francisco. Too many tasty treats...
Now after that week I'm home and suddenly it's fall. I feel a bit like I had more to do with summer, but autumn is my most favorite time of year. I can't wait to overdose on apples and pumpkins and cider, oh my! But before I do that I feel the need to say farewell to late summer with this amazing corn soup.
The recipe comes from Oui, Chef and is the best corn soup I've ever made or eaten, period. It screams of buttery corn on the cob with hints of aromatics and herbs which liven it up so that it's even better than buttery corn on the cob. Feel free to substitute various herbs as need with what you have on hand or available to you, that is what I did. You will dirty several pots, various utensils and a blender, but it's all worth it, trust me.
(from Oui, Chef)
12 ears of sweet corn on the cob
1 small fennel bulb, fronds removed & reserved, bulb washed, cored and chopped
2 small leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
8 sprigs fresh parsley, divided
8 sprigs fresh oregano, divided
6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, divided
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, divided
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp coriander seed
2 sticks butter
1 bunch chives
salt and white pepper to taste
1. Cut the kernels from the cobs and reserve in a bowl. Using the back of your knife, scrape all the pulp and milk remaining on the cobs into the bowl with the kernels. Cut the cobs into 2-3 pieces and toss them into a large stock pot.
2. To the stock pot, add the onion, leeks, shallots, garlic, chopped fennel bulb, coriander, fennel seed, and half of each of the herb sprigs. Cover the stock pot ingredients with water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the stock for about 45 minutes. Strain the stock, keeping the liquid and discarding the solids.
3. Measure 8 cups of the corn stock and add it to a large saucepan with the reserved corn kernels, the remaining herb sprigs (tied in a bundle), and 1 stick of the butter (keep any extra stock on hand in case you want to thin your soup a bit later). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the herb bundle, then puree the soup in a blender in batches (careful!), adding the remaining stick of butter in pieces, a little with each batch. Puree on high for at least 2-3 minutes per batch to make sure the kernels are well pulverized and the butter is fully emulsified with the soup.
5. Return each batch to a clean saucepan, pouring through a fine mesh strainer in the process. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding back more of the reserved stock if the soup is too thick for your liking. If your soup still doesn't look completely emulsified and smooth after its time in the blender, hit it with a stick blender to finish the job. Serve sprinkled with chopped chives and a touch of reserved fennel frond.