Chilled Corn Shooters by Betty Lee – Yield: approx. 24 – 30 shooters or 6-8 bowls
I came up with this chilled corn soup (inspired by the very popular Chinese Velvet Corn Soup) during the extremely hot days of summer when I couldn’t bear the thought of hot soup. Serving the soup, garnished, in slim vodka or shot glasses makes a very attractive presentation.
8 ears fresh corn (yellow or mix of white & yellow), kernels cut from cobs, reserve both
8 C chicken stock, good quality, preferably home made
1 C evaporated whole milk (NOT condensed milk)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (approx. 1 C)
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced, include some leaves if available
1 small (or half a medium) garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1 T dried marjoram or 2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (approx. 2 ½ tsp salt and large pinch of pepper)
Lengths of thin chives an inch or two longer than the height of shooter glasses
Freshly chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro, parsley, basil
Brunoise (mini cubes) of crispy English cucumbers
Finely chopped smoked salmon
Crispy bacon, finely crumbled
Drizzle with herb infused oil
Method of Preparation:
Combine the corncobs, chicken stock, and milk in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove cobs; when cool enough to handle, scrape the cobs with a knife to remove any remaining tender parts of the kernels into the soup. Discard cobs.
While the above mixture is simmering, warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, and garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and stir frequently until the vegetables are translucent and tender but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the reserved corn kernels and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more to soften corn a bit. Add vegetable mixture to the chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Use a spoon or very fine mesh strainer and skim the surface to remove any foam risen to the surface.
Transfer soup in 2 or 3 batches to a blender and purée until smooth. Pour soup in batches through a fine mesh strainer and stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to help purée pass through the strainer. Do not mash or push soup into strainer as this will clog the tiny holes of the strainer. Cover and chill strained soup completely or overnight. Before serving, taste and add a few drops of Tabasco sauce if needed. Garnish as desired and serve cold.