Saturday, August 10, 2013

SUMMERTIME RECIPE: "JERSEY FRESH" CORN SOUP

"Jersey Fresh" kernels of Multi-colored Corn
This Summertime Recipe is both delicious and different, based as it is on "Jersey Fresh" corn. Not only that, but it is easy to prepare - a bonus during the busy summer months. Best of all, the main ingredient is local and seasonal.

The original recipe, "Joan Munson's Sweet White Corn Soup with Poblano Puree" is from a REAL SIMPLE post.  I changed it to accommodate the ingredients I like and had available. In addition, I deleted the poblano pepper part altogether (too much work, for too little impact) and substituted something else that is flavorful, but much easier.

Following is the original recipe, with my changes indicated in blue.

"Jersey Fresh" Corn Soup Recipe

1 poblano pepper (I did not use this and substituted something else*)
2 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade broth, if available)

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
5 cups fresh corn kernels (about 10 ears)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream (half & half)
cilantro leaves, for garnish
Tabasco sauce* (the 'something else')

Directions:
1. Heat broiler. On a broiler-proof baking sheet, broil the poblano, turning, until charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Wrap in a paper towel for about 10 minutes until cool. Use the paper towel to remove the skin. Remove the pepper seeds. In a blender, puree the pepper with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth; transfer to a bowl. Rinse out the blender.

I do not include Step 1 in my version of the recipe - saving about 15-minutes of prep time. In addition, I found it impossible to accomplish the goal here. The pepper + 2 tablespoons of broth did not make enough ingredient to be successfully blended. Also, why rinse the blender? You will have these same ingredients in the soup, so just precede to next step. Finally, why use a blender at all? I suggest you use a handheld immersion blender - easier & less clean-up, too.

So, beginning with Step 2...

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is tender (but not brown) about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the corn kernels, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, a little salt and pepper (fresh ground, please) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the corn is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. In the blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water (chicken broth or half & half = more flavor) as necessary. (Alternately, use a handheld immersion blender directly in the saucepan.)

5. Serve the soup with a drizzle of cream and the poblano puree (separately); sprinkled with cilantro. (I eliminated the poblano & cream, but substituted Tabasco sauce on the table so guests could adjust the "heat" to their personal taste)

"Jersey Fresh" Corn Soup with Tabasco drizzle
 Note: I made the soup in the morning, refrigerated it, then warmed it over medium heat for dinner. The "Jersey Fresh" corn was very sweet, so the Tabasco sauce was a great complement!  SERVES 4.

INNsider Tip:
An immersion blender is a kitchen tool used for blending soups, sauces, and other liquids. It is basically a stick with blender blades at the end of it. An immersion blender is inserted into a container of liquid, like a pot of soup, for example.

Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
Scarborough Inn
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast

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