Author Notes: I don’t know about you, but it’s still way too hot to turn on a stove for long, not to mention eat hot food, especially soup. So yes, while the cobs do get cooked down for the soup’s stock base, read on to see how I circumvented the heat dilemma. I used white corn because I really love it, but also because I wanted its color to blend in a bit with the background color from the cob stock and the crème fraîche. It has it’s own textural pop in the soup, and there are bright dots of color from the colorful bell and anaheim peppers. And because fresh dill is perfuming all the markets here, I chopped up some gentle fronds as a garnish. In the end, this is a lovely, rustic homage to a trip with my daughter as well as my own return home.
Please be sure to take a look at food52 genius method of separating the kernels from the cobs: http://www.food52.com/blog/2259_how_to_dekernel_corn. It’s safer than standing the cobs on end, but perhaps even better, the kernels don’t go bouncing about the kitchen.
For the Cob Stock
- 4 cobs of white corn, kernels stripped and reserved
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
For the Gazpacho
- 3 cups cob stock, chilled
- Reserved corn kernels, 1 cup reserved
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded, diced fine
- 1 anaheim pepper, seeded, diced fine
- White parts of 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- Reserved corn kernels
- Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Greens of 4 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
- Fresh dill fronds for garnish
- Wedges of fresh lemon for garnish
- Start this the 24 hours before you plan to serve the gazpacho. Using the food52 method, remove the kernels from 4 freshly husked ears of white corn. Place them in a covered bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Set up your slow cooker . . . in the garage, in the basement, wherever the heat it generates will not add one degree of temperature to your kitchen. Break cobs in half. Toss them into the pot and cover by about 3 inches with cold water. Set the cooker on high. When it’s nicely hot, turn it down to medium or low, depending on how "hot" it cooks. Go to bed.
- The next morning, discard the cobs (or cool them and give them to your chickens). Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, then pour into a shallow container of some sort that you can refrigerate for the day. Freeze any that you won’t use for this soup. Or sip it from a champagne flute.
- To prepare the soup, place all but 1 cup of corn kernels, both peppers, and the scallion whites in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, pour in enough of the chilled stock to adequately purée the ingredients. It won’t be a perfectly smooth purée because of its contents, so do the best you can. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Stainless works really well.
- Whisk in the crème fraîche. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the reserved whole corn kernels. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with the scallion greens and dill fronds. Serve with wedges of fresh lemon. Raise your spoons to the goodness that is summer.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Corn off the Cob