Velvety Corn Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Swirl

I have another fresh corn dish to share. 🙂 This wonderful soup was buttery and luxurious. The beautiful swirl of roasted red peppers puréed with Fresno chiles and smoked paprika gave the finished dish the perfect amount of heat. It is a great late summer dish to serve as the evening temperatures begin to drop.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I modified the proportions and puréed the soup in a Vitamix and omitted pressing it through a sieve. I used chicken stock, but the original recipe also includes instructions to make corn-cob broth to use as an alternative. Delicious!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 3 fresh Fresno chiles, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika) or 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 6 large ears) or 4 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups water, corn-cob broth (see below) or chicken stock, plus more to adjust consistency
  • Lime wedges, for garnish, optional
  1. Place bell peppers on an aluminum foil lined, rimmed baking sheet under broiler and roast, turning frequently with tongs, until blackened and blistered all over, about 5 minutes per side. (Alternatively, the peppers can also be charred over an open gas flame.)
  2. Remove from heat, wrap in the aluminum foil pan lining (to steam off the charred skin), and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Cut in each in half vertically. With a paring knife, remove seeds from each half, then turn over and peel away the blackened skin. Do not rinse; a little remaining char is fine. Reserve one half for another use.
  4. Transfer 3 halves of roasted pepper to a blender or food processor and add Fresno chiles, pimentón, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend to a smooth purée. Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  6. Add onions and corn kernels to the melted butter. Season well with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Cooking, stirring, until onions are softened and beginning to color, 7 to 8 minutes.
  7. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Add 4 1/2 cups water or stock/broth and salt to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, until corn is well cooked.
  9. Transfer to a blender or Vitamix and whiz to a smooth purée. Thin with additional water or stock/broth to the consistency of heavy cream, as desired. (I did not add any additional stock.)
  10. If using a Vitamix, purée soup at the highest setting for one minute to ensure a velvety smooth purée. (If using a blender or food processor, pass soup through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a large spoon or ladle to extract every drop of liquid. (This step is important to guarantee a velvety texture.) Discard any fibrous remains.)
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  12. To serve, reheat and ladle into shallow soup bowls. Swirl about 2 tablespoons pepper purée into the center of each bowl. Pass lime wedges at the table, as desired.

To Make Corn-Cob Broth: put 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Add 6 corn cobs, cut into 3-inch chunks; 1 small onion, sliced; and a small sprig or two of thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain. Make broth up to 24 hours in advance.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Wow. This was delicious. A real celebration of summer farmstand corn. My local farmstand happens to have absolutely wonderful bi-color corn which I used for this special chowder.

A fresh corn broth is made for the base of this soup. It incorporates the corn cobs, shiitake mushroom stems, herbs, as well as parmesan rinds. I think it really makes the finished dish extraordinary.

I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, contributed by Rick Martinez. I lightened the recipe by using half and half instead of heavy cream. I also used home-grown jalapeños instead of Fresno chiles and parsley instead of marjoram. I doubled the garlic too, of course. 😉 Fabulous!!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 8 ears of corn
  • 2 Parmesan rinds (about 4 ounces)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • coarse salt
  • 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used 3 thick slices)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used 1 1/2 large potatoes)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 2 Fresno chiles or jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 T chopped marjoram or parsley, plus more for serving
  • oyster crackers, for serving, optional
  1. Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Reserve cobs.
  2. Place cobs in a medium pot and add Parmesan rinds, if using, mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf, 2 tsp. salt, and 8 cups water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth is fragrant and reduced by half, 40–50 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids and set broth aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 4 T butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high.
  5. Add corn kernels, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and juices have evaporated and browned on the bottom of the pot, 12–15 minutes. Reserve ½ cup corn for serving; transfer remaining corn to a medium bowl.
  6. Add wine to pot and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl with remaining corn.
  7. Heat remaining 1 T butter in same pot over medium and cook bacon until golden brown and fat has rendered, about 6 minutes.
  8. Add potatoes, shallots, leek, garlic, and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but haven’t taken on any color, 12–15 minutes.
  9. Add chiles and cook until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes.
  10. Stir in flour and cook until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  11. Add reserved broth, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
  12. Add half and half (or cream) and corn mixture and cook, stirring, until chowder has thickened, 5–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parley. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
  13. Divide chowder among bowls. Top with additional parsley, oyster crackers, and reserved ½ cup corn; season with pepper.

Note: To make this vegetarian, omit the bacon and replace with more shiitake mushrooms; sauté them until they’re golden brown.

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Lobster & Corn Chowder

This chowder tastes so luscious and rich but it is completely creamless. It doesn’t even have any butter! The “creaminess” is from puréed corn. Its rich and intense flavor is from the homemade stock which is made from the lobster shells and corn cobs. Mmmm. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I used 2 lobster tails instead of 1 whole lobster, increased the amount of corn, and added leeks. We ate it with French rolls and green salad. Healthy and wonderful!

Yield: About 6 cups, Serves 4 to 5 as a main course

Total Time: about 2 hours

  • 3/4 to 1 pound lobster tails (I used 2)
  • 8 fresh corn cobs, kernels removed and cobs reserved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 leeks, halved and cut into 1/2-inch moons
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • vegetable stock, chicken stock, or clam juice, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place lobster into water, and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. (Do not let water boil.) Transfer lobster tails to ice-water bath using tongs; reserve cooking liquid. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Crack lobster tails and remove meat; reserve shells. Coarsely chop meat. (You should have about 1 cup.) Refrigerate until ready to use. (Note: At this point, the lobster meat can be refrigerated overnight.)
  3. Return shells to pot with cooking liquid. Add reserved cobs. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 35 minutes. Strain stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  4. Meanwhile, soak the leeks in a bowl of cold water. Swish to clean. Remove leeks from the top allowing any sand or grit to settle on the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Heat oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook corn kernels, leeks, onion, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add 5 cups lobster stock, and cook for 15 minutes. (I had to supplement with chicken stock because I didn’t have 5 cups of lobster stock! Clam juice would also work well as a supplement.) Let cool slightly.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, set aside 1 1/2 cups corn mixture.
  8. Purée remaining corn mixture and strained liquid in a blender or Vitamix until smooth.
  9. Working in batches, strain soup through a large fine-mesh sieve, and return to the pot with reserved corn and lobster meat.
  10. Cook over medium heat until warmed through.
  11. Stir in chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with additional chives, if desired.

Note: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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If you like this you may also like:

Corn Risotto

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Long Island bi-color corn is so sweet and fabulous. This dish was such a wonderful use for my fabulous local summer corn! This risotto is made with fresh corn stock- a little bit of fresh whipped cream is mixed in just prior to serving too. The result is super creamy and delicious. The fresh corn kernels add a nice contrast in texture.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, adapted from Jessica Battilana of Short Stack Editions. I modified the recipe to make it in a pressure cooker and doubled the amount of arborio rice (maybe a typo in the original recipe?). Amazing summer comfort food. Yum!

Yield: 4 servings

For the Corn Stock:

  • 2 corn cobs (kernels removed and reserved for risotto)
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 celery rib, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • Dark green leaves from 1 leek (reserve white and light green parts for risotto)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

For the Risotto:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups hot corn stock (chicken stock can be substituted)
  • 1 ½ cups raw corn kernels (from about 2 ears corn)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives or dill (optional)

Make the Stock:

  1. Combine all ingredients with 6 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat so liquid is simmering; cover pot and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Add enough water to bring liquid up to 6 cups.

To Complete the Dish:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 5 to 7 quart pressure cooker over medium-low heat. Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains look slightly translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Pour in wine and corn stock, stir.
  3. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure. Cook for 7 minutes. Release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions or place the pot under running cold water. Carefully open the lid, being careful of the steam.
  4. Add the corn, Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon of butter. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream at high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Uncover risotto, stir vigorously and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Immediately before serving, stir in the herbs, if using, then gently fold in cream.

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