Corn and potato leek soup with beer battered corn silk

By • August 4, 2011 • 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Technically this soup is a variation on Vichyssoise...its made with potatoes and leeks and is served chilled. Though if you prefer it warm knock yourself out. I can't bring myself to call it Corn Vichyssoise because the name reminds me of the Third Reich even though the soup has nothing to do with Nazi's and might not even be french... In any event this recipe was loosely adapted from Bouchon by Thomas Keller.

Its pretty straightforward...with one exception. It requires two and a half cups of corn juice. Not corn puree, not corn stock, and not the stuff that comes in a can of corn. I’m talking fresh corn juice. Like fresh squeezed fruit juice but from corn. "Where do I get such a bounteous delicacy?" you may ask. The first and most obvious way to achieve this is to juice it in your juicer. Make sure to cut the kernels off and don't juice the cob unless you have a professional grade juicer or you enjoy the smell of smoking motors. What?! You don’t have a juicer?!! Go buy one. They’re like 85 bucks. Well worth it. If you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one even though it will be the best investment you’ve ever made (except for that apple stock you bought in 1980 for 22 dollars a share) then the next best thing to do is to take your corn, go to your local healthfood store or a place like Jamba Juice and ask them to please pretty please kindly juice it for you. I haven't ever had a problem getting someone to do it for me. They may look at you a little funny but whatever, they work at a juice store. These stores have hardcore juicers so just have em juice the whole ear cob and all. Many places will do it for free if you are nice.
Larry Wellington Cauldwell

Serves 4-6

The Soup

  • 4 Small Leeks
  • 2/3 cups Shallots (sliced thinly)
  • 4 tablespoons Butter (half a stick)
  • 1/2 cup Yellow onion (sliced thinly)
  • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic (minced)
  • 2.5 cups Corn Juice (from about 9 ears...fewer if you have a really nice juicer)
  • 4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Pepper to Taste
  • 1.25 cups Red potatoes
  • 3.5 cups Water
  • Olive oil
  1. Shuck the corn. Discard any brown silk and reserve the green silk for later. Cut off the kernels and juice them in your juicer. If you don't have a juicer see above.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven melt the butter. Slice the onions, leeks, and shallots thinly and add them to the pot. Season the vegetables with 2 tsp of kosher salt and stir regularly over low heat to "sweat" them for about 15 minutes. While the vegetables are "sweating" peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. After 15 minutes add the garlic and continue to stir for another 4 minutes then add the potatoes and continue to stir for 4 more minutes.
  3. Add the corn juice and 3 cups of water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and then simmer everything for 30 minutes. After a little while you may notice that the liquid becomes grainy looking, this is fine and is just the natural starch in the corn juice thickening. After 30 minutes remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Pour the mixture from the pot into a blender and puree it in batches. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of water to thin the puree if necessary. After blending the soup pass it through a fine mesh strainer or chinois into a clean pot. You will need to push it through the strainer with the back of a ladle. This is important! Otherwise your soup will not be silky and smooth.
  5. Add the cream, the 2 remaining teaspoons of salt, and ground pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer briefly and then remove from the heat. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. To serve: Spoon the soup into bowls and place a cluster of beer battered corn silk in the center. Drizzle the soup with a little olive oil and enjoy.

Beer Battered Corn Silk

  • The silk from 9 ears of corn
  • 1 Beer (something with some flavor like an IPA)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • A neutral oil for deep frying
  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and then add the beer. Mix thoroughly. Add the silk to this mixture and let it marinate for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, and red pepper.
  3. After 10 minutes take the silk, in small amounts, and dredge it in the flour mixture. Make sure to shake off as much beer and egg mixture as possible as this helps prevent clumping. Try to separate the strands into individual pieces in the flour so that they won't stick together when they are fried.
  4. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the battered corn silk in small batches until it is golden. It doesn't take long, literally 10-20 seconds.
  5. Spread the corn silk on paper towels to dry. Gather the silk into small clusters to use for garnish when serving.
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Tags: Appetizers, cold, Scrumptious

Comments (4) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago Mynhier

Just want to say thanks for the idea. I took your's added my own twist to it and made it at The Delray Beach Mariott in Florida the other day and a food critic just happend to order it and loved it. Made my Sous Chef happy... not to mention me

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Hmmm, fresh corn juice, going to try that with my smoothie, next time around.

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about 3 years ago Larry Wellington Cauldwell

It's really good just by itself too.... I keep thinking about making a sweet corn margarita with it. Will let you know how that turns out :-)

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The soup sounds delicious. The battered and fried corn silk is so crazy it just might work! What a cool garnish.