corn

The thing I miss most about summer produce once it’s gone is fresh corn on the cob. I think it is one of the world’s most perfect foods. It’s too bad we’ve made mutant corn the staple of our diets (I’m of course talking about high fructose corn syrup, and other freaky genetically modified corn products lining the shelves of pretty much every grocery store in the country) because it gives the corn I love a bad name. Corn straight from the grill with herb butter, or a squeeze of lime, or queso fresco. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

So when I was thinking up uses for the tomatillo salsa I had left over from the other night, I went to Eugenia Bone’s book Well-Preserved. She includes a tomatillo salsa recipe specifically for canning, and with it, three recipes to use said salsa. The beauty of adding something like a pre-made salsa (in this case, still home made) to a soup is that you get the complexity of that flavor added in one spoonful. You’ve done all the hard work making the salsa already, now you get to capitalize on the tangy, slightly spicy, salty note it adds to the dish.

It’s sort of funny that I seem to keep doing stews and soups despite the season — yesterday was the first miserably hot day here, and I’m hoping it was a fluke. Frankly, I’ve been enjoying not sweating profusely all day long. But I guess that was too much to hope for. Luckily, I made this before the 10 ton brick that is “summer” in New York hit us.

cornsoup

Corn soup with Tomatillo Salsa
adapted from Eugenia Bone’s Well-Preserved
Serves 4

6 ears of corn, kernels removed and reserved, cobs broken in half and reserved
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 c. heavy cream or half and half
salt & pepper
4 – 5 T. tomatillo salsa (store bought would work)

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large soup pot, and add the onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the cobs (kernels removed) and add just enough water so that they float (for me, that was about 4 cups). Bring to a boil and then cover, boiling for 30 minutes. Remove the cobs and add the stock. Bring to a boil and lower the heat so it boils gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the stock reduces somewhat. Add the corn kernels and cook for about 5 minutes, until the corn is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and salsa (the salsa can also be swirled into individual bowls). Season with salt and black pepper to taste. You can puree the soup at this stage if you like, but I loved the crunch of the kernels so I left it as-is. Serve hot or at room temperature.