Corn soup is best during the season beginning in early July in the Northeast. Sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin have identical chemical formulas and are isomers, but they are not stereoisomers. The only difference between them is in the location of the double bond in one of the end rings. A midsize ear also offers a helpful 3-gram dose of dietary fiber.
Service for 2
3 plump ears of corn
tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 small carrot
1 clove garlic
3 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter or cream
Preparing the Corn Stock
Note: How many cups of corn from 1 ear? 1 1/2 medium corn ears = 1 cup of corn
You will need 1 1/2 corn cob /person for this dish. Use either mixed or all yellow corn. When you buy the corn make sure they are nice and plump to the feel with large kernels. Also, try to buy same day corn if possible. Corn looses sugar content very quickly.
Shuck the corn... then cut the kernels off using a sharp knife. It is also possible to use a mandolin set on the thick setting for this. Reserve some of the kernels for garnish.
Coarsely chop 1/2 onion, 1 small carrot, and one clove garlic and add them to a medium sized pot. Sweat the vegetables with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the corn kernels (reserve some for garnish). Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook another five minutes and a medium-low flame stirring several times to prevent any of the vegetables from browning.
Add 3 cups water (or 3 cups light vegetable stock, or light chicken stock). Note: if the corn is very fresh I suggest using only water at this point. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. For additional flavor it is recommended to add the shucked corn stalks (broken in half) the the cooking liquid.
Set the pot on a cool burner and let rest till the liquid has cooled enough to put into a blender.
Pour some of mixture into the blender. Try not to go past the half-way mark if the mixture is still warm. Hold the top down to the blender using a towel since hot liquid may escape and burn your hand. Blend the mixture in batches and then pass through a course sieve. If you want a smoother soup use a finer sieve. Return the soup mixture to the pot and add the reserved corn kernels.Add salt and pepper seasoning if needed. This is your basic corn chowder stock. The soup can be put in the refrigerator and last till the next day holding most flavors at this point.
Taste the soup and see if it needs to be richened up with cream or butter. A very fresh creamy corn may not need these ingredients.
Preparing the Garnish
Saute a selection of market mushrooms, julienne zucchini, and pheasant sausage. This can be done in the same pan in stages... first the mushrooms and pheasant sausage and last the zucchini Set the vegetables on a paper towel set over a cooling rack. Set aside to ready to assemble the final dish.
Assembling the Dish
Before serving reheat the corn chowder stock. Taste the soup and see if it needs butter and/or cream. I find that the fresher and sweeter the corn is, the less butter or cream is needed. Reheat the mushrooms, zucchini and sausage. Set up four soup bowls. Pour a cup of chowder into each bowl and garnish with the mushrooms, zucchini and pheasant sausage. Sprinkle some smoked paprika and chopped parsley over each plate.