Author, and creator of London Farmer’s Market, Nina Planck provides 150 recipes that reflect her background in The Real Food Cookbook (Bloomsbury, 2014). A farmer’s daughter and former vegetarian, Planck uses timeless ingredients and classic cooking methods that reflect her journey to traditional foods. The excerpt that follows, taken from “Soups,” is for a savory cream of corn soup recipe.
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It was September and we had lots of white corn left over from a big barbecue. It wasn’t the best corn. We boiled it and ate it with butter—a marginal improvement. I cut the rest off the cob for soup. Feeling guilty about wasting bits on the cob, I hit on a solution. Simmer the cobs in milk! Perfect: the corn softened and expanded, releasing its flavor to the milk without the stringy bits. Then we salted and sucked on the milk-drenched cobs. I make this soup, or something quite like it, all year, with frozen corn and fresh. Other nice garnishes are minced chives or parsley and crème fraîche. This makes 2 quarts or 8 cups—a scant 8 servings; add milk, cream, or stock to thin it or to serve more.
Cream of Corn Soup Recipe With Red Pepper Sauce
• 2 lbs fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels
• 1 onion
• 4 T butter, olive oil, or a mix
• 2 c milk (plus more for thinning optional)
• 1/4 c cider
• 1/2 tsp salt
• cream or stock (optional)
• ground cayenne
• sweet bell pepper sauce or hot red pepper oil (recipes follow)
1. If you’re using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob into a bowl, reserving any liquid. For more flavor, simmer the stripped cobs in the milk. If you’re using frozen corn, defrost and drain the kernels.
2. Dice the onion.
3. In a large pot, heat the butter and/or olive oil and sauté the onion until it’s quite soft.
4. Add the corn to the onion and sauté until it’s just soft.
5. Add the milk, cider, and salt to the onions and corn. Cook until it simmers. Do not boil.
6. Whiz it all in the food processor and season with cayenne to taste. If the soup is too thick, thin it with more milk or (optional) cream or (optional) stock to taste.
7. Dribble a pepper sauce on the soup or serve it on the side.
Sweet Pepper Sauce
Slice a sweet red pepper and sauté it in olive oil until very soft. Whiz in the food processor until it is completely smooth.
Hot Pepper Oil
Dice and gently sauté a hot red pepper in olive oil until it’s soft but not brown. Let it sit in the oil for at least 1 hour. Strain. You can also whiz a raw hot pepper to make a nice thick orange oil. The flavor will be quite different.
Find more recipes and tips from The Real Food Cookbook in How to Think Like a Chef.
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks by Nina Planck and published by Bloomsbury, 2014. Purchase this book from our store: The Real Food Cookbook.