Ideas for Corn Soup

08/05/2011 02:33 pm ET | Updated Oct 05, 2011

The Splendid Table's® How to Eat Supper, By Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Dear Lynne,

Do you have an idea for a corn soup? I bought way too many ears at the farmer's market.

Lucy in Brooklyn

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Dear Lucy,

There is a summer recipe we do every year. Variations have cropped up over the years, but the basic soup still holds its own. It needs only a little heat and is served cool. Use new garlic for this and if heads of young green garlic are to be had, don't skin the cloves, simply slice the whole head and stem into thin rounds.

Cool New Garlic and Corn Soup
Serves 4; multiplies easily

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons water
Peeled cloves of an entire large (3-inch diameter) head garlic, all lightly crushed
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
A generous pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Shredded zest of half a large lemon
2 cans (about 10 ounces each) good tasting chicken broth
5 to 6 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 9 ears)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream, or whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup each fresh basil leaves, and diced red onion
1/2 cup snipped chives (for garnish)

1. In a 4-quart pot combine butter, water, and garlic with a little salt, a generous amount of black pepper, and the cayenne. Bring to a very gentle bubble over medium-low heat. Cover and let cook 10 minutes, or until garlic is soft but not colored. Turn heat to medium high, stir in lemon zest and broth. Boil, uncovered, 1 minute.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, cool 10 minutes, and stir in half the corn. In a blender or processor, lightly puree it to a creamy/nubby consistency. Pour back into pot, add the cream and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining corn and cook 1 minute. Taste for seasoning, cool, and chill up to 3 days.

3. Shortly before serving, blend together sour cream, basil, and onion with salt and pepper to taste. Have the soup chilled, but not ice cold.

4. Taste the soup again for seasoning. If necessary, thin with a little broth or water. Spoon it into bowls, and top each serving with sour cream mixture and a sprinkling of snipped chives.

Copyright 2011 Lynne Rossetto Kasper