Given the vegetable's starchy nature, chilled corn soups are a cinch to make. This one gets a triple dose of corn: The base is made with cooked-down onions, sweet corn kernels, an herb bundle and an easy corn stock made with corncobs, herbs and water. It's blended until very smooth, strained to get a velvety texture, then poured over pickled corn kernels that add texture, acidity and the smallest dose of heat.
When it's hot, we recommend serving the soup chilled, but you can serve it warmed or at room temperature if you so desire.
To learn more, read "Salute the Kernels."
Chilled Corn Soup with Pickled Corn
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus chilling time
For the Pickled Corn:
2 cups corn kernels (about 2 cobs)
1 small shallot, julienned
1 chile pepper (such as jalapeño or serrano), seeded and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1 cup water
For the Corn Soup:
6 corncobs, kernels removed and reserved
4 black peppercorns
3 parsley stems
3 thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
10 cups water
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Make the pickled corn: In a heatproof 1-quart jar, combine the corn, shallots, chile pepper and garlic. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and coriander to a boil. Pour the vinegar and the water over the corn mixture. Seal and wipe the lid and let cool. Refrigerate until chilled. Will keep for up to 1 month.
2. Make the corn soup: In a large pot, add the corncobs, peppercorns, herbs and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes or until your have 5 cups. Strain the stock and set aside.
3. Wipe the pot clean, then add the olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the onions. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the reserved corn kernels and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn stock, bring to a boil then reduce the heat back to medium. Simmer until the corn is tender, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. Working in batches, purée the corn soup in a blender until smooth, then strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Season with salt and refrigerate until chilled, 4 hours.
5. To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of the pickled corn into the bottom of 6 bowls. Pour the corn soup over the pickled corn and drizzle with olive oil. Serve.