Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One of my favorite recipes for summer, I think I found this on Epicurious.  When I teach a cooking class, I always throw in a "whammy" recipe....meaning something that I have NEVER made before.  I know, that sounds a little bit crazy, but it certainly brings an air of unpredictability to the class, which I find exciting.  So, last year, this was my whammy recipe.  It ended up being my favorite of the whole class.   

Normally cold soups don't excite me, they even sometimes (don't tell anyone) disgust me!  Cold pureed junk, underseasoned, blah.....but this one has an amazing texture, great flavor and hits all sorts of seasonal notes.  Pretty easy to make too, so give it a try.  Your normally hating cold soup self will thank me...or thank Epicurious.

Charred Corn Soup
For soup
4 ears of corn, shucked
4 cups water
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups chopped white onion
1 fresh poblano chile, stemmed and coarsely chopped (including seeds)
3 firm-ripe California avocados (1 to 1 1/4 lb total)
1 roma tomato
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup crema or sour cream

For cilantro oil
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Make soup:
Roast corn on rack of gas burner over high heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until kernels are charred in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, heat a dry well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and roast corn over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.) Transfer corn to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cob with a sharp knife, then cut cob into thirds.
Bring kernels, cob pieces, 4 cups water, garlic, salt, and onion to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, uncovered. Discard cob pieces.
Purée corn mixture along with chile with an immersion blender until very very smooth.  
Quarter, pit, and peel 2 avocados then add to the soup with 2 tablespoons lime juice and purée until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill soup at least 1 hour.

Prepare cilantro oil while soup chills:
Purée cilantro, oil, and salt in cleaned blender, scraping down sides of blender several times. Pour oil into cleaned fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and let drain 15 minutes (do not press on solids). Discard solids.

Assemble soup:
Halve and pit remaining avocado, and cut into a small dice.  Cut the tomato into a small dice.
Whisk together crema and remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice in a small bowl until smooth.
Season soup with salt and ladle into 6 shallow soup bowls. Divide avocado and tomatoes among bowls, then drizzle with crema and cilantro oil.

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