As much as I love cold soups, they can get tiresome, especially because chilling mutes flavors. Even in the heat of summer, I frequently crave something hot — as long as it’s easy and quick to put together.
Fresh-from-the-cob corn often makes its way into those hot dishes, sometimes starring in them. Every year, I try different strategies for maximizing and clarifying corn’s essence, including using the cobs, husks and silks to make a vibrant broth. Sooner or later (usually sooner), corn soup — combined with poblanos or white beans or sweet potatoes — shows up on my summertime table.
Some combinations — corn and dairy, for instance — are classic, and that’s what attracted me to Nina Planck’s corn soup in “The Real Food Cookbook” (Bloomsbury USA, 2014). Planck knows her way around fresh ingredients: She grew up on a farm in Loudoun County, Va.; is former director of New York’s Greenmarkets; founded the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market in the District; and set up a company that runs multiple markets in London.
To Planck, corn soup requires little fussing, but she does simmer the cobs in the milk to draw out more of that sweet taste, and she makes a quick red pepper puree to dollop in the center of each bowl.
Oh, and here’s the brilliant addition: a little apple cider for a touch of brightness. If you have everything else but the cider on hand, the soup is plenty tasty without it.
It’s summer, so don't sweat it.