Friday, August 9, 2013

What To Do With All This Sweet Corn (you know you live in Western PA when this is a problem!)

So maybe it has to do with the fact that I am getting over some sinus and respiratory stuff but I have been craving soup like crazy. It is all I have wanted to eat (with some yummy bread to sop it up, of course! Who eats soup without bread?)

I have also been overloaded with corn from my CSA (community supported agriculture - you should
totally look one up and join. It's awesome.) My fridge is completely full of sweet corn and it is getting out of control. I have no where to put any other food and when I move something it all rolls around and it is getting silk everywhere (you know it's summer in Western PA when your floor is covered in corn silk ALL the time.)

In order to address my soup addiction and get this corn out of my fridge, I decided to goole some corn soup. I mean it has to exist, right? Somewhere people eat this? The idea of a creamy bowl of pureed sweet corn sounded amazing to my aching sinuses. (Maybe I will find something to fill the void that Panera's Broccoli and Cheese soup left in my life -- and yes with a bread bowl. Hello this girl, in love with bread. It's kind of an addiction.)


And yes, it does exist! There are actually a lot of recipes for sweet corn soup, much to my suprise. But I didn't anticipate how much of a pain it was going to be to make. In my head I was going to cut it off the cob. Cook it up. Add some broth and whatever else it called for and then use my fancy immersion blender to make it all smooth and awesome.

Generally, things don't seem to turn out the way I picture them in my head. Ever. (You would think I would have learned that by now.)

Almost all of the recipes I found wanted me to grate the corn off the cob to make a mushy mess of corn puree. Well I knew what kind of mess that would be. Corn juice all over my kitchen and a starchy mess all over my hands (plus the possibility of some scraped fingers.) I don't think so. This was the perfect instance to use my immersion blender for something other than my daily Shakeology. Look at me being versatile in the kitchen and making good use of my appliances. (And apparently so much smarter than the 400 people that have probably made this before.)

So I cut and sauteed and cooked and added broth and coconut milk. My house smelled awesome. And I blended, dodging flying hot lava soup when the blender got too close to the surface of the pot.

Then I tasted. And the taste was awesome. What was not awesome....the corn skin left in the pot even after I blended forever. So I blended more. Still corn skin. And I tried to convince myself it wasn't a problem. That it made it more authentic and corny to have the skins in there. That it gave it a more palatable texture. And it was all lies! All of it. I could not justify leaving the corn skins in the soup and I was not happy with what I knew had to happen next. (Why didn't I listen to all the people who grated their corn. Messy hands are so much easier to deal with than the straining of the corn skins.)

So I busted out a strainer and put it over a large pyrex measuring cup and ladled. Ladle-full by ladle-full I strained, using the back of a spoon to work the liquid through the strainer. Ugh. Talk about boring and time consuming but it was well worth the effort. The result was creamy and yummy corn goodness. If you are a corn on the cob lover (borderline obsessed) then this is a masterpiece in a bowl.

I froze two jars of my liquid corn gold and promptly enjoyed the rest for dinners (with some really good toasted sunflower whole wheat bread! yum!) while my sinus yuckyness cleared up.

The original recipe I found here and adapted it to meet my non-dairy preferences.

So this is what I did:

1 or 2 TBS of olive oil
10-12 ears of sweet corn - kernels removed*
1 medium sweet onion
3 small shallots
32 ounces veggie broth
2 cans coconut milk
3 TBS water
2 TBS arrowroot
Salt (to taste - I used Himalayan salt)
White pepper (to taste)

In a large pot saute the olive oil and onion and shallots.

When they are almost translucent, add the corn and cook for five more minutes or so.

Add the veggie broth and let it all come to a boil.

Turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, stir and allow to simmer for 15 more minutes

Whisk the arrowroot with the water and add to the pot along with salt and pepper.

Strain *


* Many of the recipes I found called for grating the corn off the cob with a grater so it turns into a puree rather than starting with kernels cut off the cob. After the frustration I experienced with straining I recommend this method. Maybe 90% of the people posting recipes for this online knew what they were talking about or maybe I had a really sad strainer that kept getting clogged. Either way - totally your call.

Happy Eats!

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