4 ears yellow corn
4 ears white corn
2 stalks basil
3 1/2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
1 yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons white peppercorns, ground in a clean coffee grinder
2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons whole coriander, ground in a clean coffee grinder
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
Salt to taste
4 to 6 tablespoons toasted Marcona almonds, coarsely ground, for garnish (optional)
Remove husks and silk from corncobs. Cut off the kernels and set them aside, reserving the corncobs.
Char cobs lightly on a grill or roast them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 400 F oven for about 15 minutes, turning once, or until lightly browned.
Put the roasted corncobs in a tall pasta or stock pot. Add just enough water to cover the cobs and bring to a low boil. Cook for about 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the whole stalks of basil. Allow the basil to steep into the corn broth for about 15 minutes, off the heat. Strain the corn broth and set it aside.
Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, then the onion and a little salt. Cover and let the onions sweat briefly, but do not allow them to color. Add the corn and sauté for about 3 minutes. When the corn and onions are fragrant but not browned, add the pepper and coriander, and stir. Add the white wine and just enough corn broth to cover the corn; you may not need all the corn broth. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the cream and remove from the heat.
Purée the soup in a blender, in batches, adding an equal amount of corn and broth each time; purée thoroughly until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt. Chill the soup. Taste again before serving and add salt if necessary.
Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with remaining olive oil. If desired, garnish with coarsely ground Marcona almonds.
Makes 8 servings.
From Michael Ehlert, Campo Modern Country Bistro