Summer’s Sweetest Corn Bisque

Corn has gotten a bad rap lately, and that’s a shame. It’s true that adulterated versions, from high-fructose corn syrup to corn oil, are downright unhealthy. But freshly shucked corn is amazingly rich in phytonutrients, and in flavor. Believe me, I know good corn. There used to be huge cornfields within walking distance of my childhood home. I vividly remember coming home with a bushel of summer corn, planting myself outside our back door, and ripping away the husks with glee. Flash forward just a wee bit and now I have my Gen Y kitchen angels Jen and Katie out on my back porch, sipping lemonade and giggling over how they’re knee-deep in husks. In this soup, shaved corncobs make for an outrageous broth, and the whazzed-up kernels create a richness that lets the honey-like flavor linger on the tongue like a slow sunset. If you could put summer in a pot, this would be it.

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

12 ears of corn
16 cups filtered water
Sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onions

Cut the kernels off the corn and set aside.

Put the corncobs, water, and 21/2 teaspoons of salt in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the corn kernels and a generous pinch of salt sauté until the corn is just tender, about 4 more. Remove the corncobs from the stockpot and discard.

Working in batches, pour some of the broth in a blender. Add some of the corn mixture and process until very smooth. For a velvety texture, after pureeing each batch, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the soup to the stockpot and stir in a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat until just heated through.

Variation: To create a chunky chowder, reserve 1 cup of the corn and onion mixture. After blending the soup, stir in the reserved corn and onions, along with 1/4 cup peeled and diced carrot, 1/4 cup diced celery, and 1/2 cup diced red potatoes. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are just tender, about 8 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.