With so much focus on eating fresh, healthy, and local these days, it would be down right ludicrous of us not to celebrate one of Alberta’s best summer treats: Taber corn! Most of us could husk, steam and butter a cob in our sleep. This can, however, be a bit repetitive. In order to avoid getting tired of this beautiful vegetable, the staff at the Compleat Cook like to mix it up a bit! One of our employees brought in a delicious soup last week. It had a silky smooth texture, and a lovely buttery colour. It was just too good not to share! Hopefully this will inspire you to think outside the cob, and look for other, unexpected corn concoctions!
Summer Corn Soup
3 cups whole milk
3 ears of fresh corn
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
2 thick bacon slices, diced
1/3 c fresh corn kernels
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Preparing the corn:
After husking the cobs, cut off any remnant of the stem using a sharp knife. This should create a flat, sturdy base. Take a large mixing bowl and place a small bowl upside down inside it to create a kernel catching device. Position the cob, with it’s stem end down, on top of the small bowl. Carefully cut all kernels off each cob. Finally, using your chefs knife, remove any missed corn from the cob by rubbing the back of the knife up and down the cob. Set aside corn kernels and pulp (reserving 1/3 cup of kernels for the garnish). KEEP THE COBS FOR THE NEXT STEP.
Cut the cobs in half and combine with milk in a saucepan. Bring the mixture just to a boil and them remove from heat. Cover and let steep.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter. Sauté the onions untill translucent, do not let the onions brown. Add the corn (kernels and pulp), celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender. Add water, herb sprigs, bay leaf and milk with corn cobs. Increase the heat and bring to boil. Cover partially and reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes.
Remove and discard corn cobs, herbs and bay leaf. Let soup cool slightly. Working in batches, purée soup in blender (or immersion blender) until very smooth. Strain using a fine sieve into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season with salt and pepper.
Can be made a day ahead of time. Cover and chill.
Cook the bacon in small skillet till crisp. Let drain on paper towel. Mix in corn, green onion and pinch of cayenne pepper. This can be done 2 hours ahead of time. Cover and leave at room temperature.
Serve and enjoy!
* A few gadgets to help with your corn:
The OXO Good Grips corn zipper:
If the 2 bowl technique looks too daunting, try this corn zipper from OXO. It even has a little hopper to collect the kernels as the fall.
Chef’n corn silk brush:
This gentle brush removes all those annoying threads without damaging the kernels!