Monday, September 2, 2013

Sweet Corn and Carrot Soup

Happy Labor Day! Is it feeling like fall is approaching yet? Not really around D.C., where it's nice and muggy lately. Still, I tell myself cooler weather is just around the corner.

This is a great recipe for this time of year because it makes use of seasonal vegetables and can be served warm or cold, depending on your mood and the ambient temperature. As a pureed soup, it has a pretty smooth texture, but to add a little textural interest I reserved some raw corn kernels to toss in at the end.

Sweet Corn and Carrot Soup

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large (or 4 small) shallots, minced
5-6 carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
Seasoned salt (or plain salt), to taste
5 ears of corn, kernels cut off and cobs reserved
6 cups water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Smoked paprika, to taste
Snipped fresh chives

1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and carrots and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, then add garlic and all but 1 cup of the corn kernels, sautéing another 5 minutes. Add water, reserved corn cobs and cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Remove corn cobs and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth (alternatively, transfer in batches to a food processor and puree). Stir in the reserved uncooked corn kernels and heavy cream. Serve in shallow bowls topped with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and chives.

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