Sweet Summer Corn Vichyssoise Soup Recipe

July 19, 2012 6:31 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Summer Corn
Sweet summer corn vichyssoise. (Photo: Creative Commons)

When it comes to a rewarding, cold summer soup, gazpacho is probably the first option that comes to mind in this country. But for those of us that are tired of eating the appropriately glorified and liquified salsa (especially in a city like New York, wherein we're inundated with Mexican food choices), France has the answer. It's called the vichyssoise, and it's a chilled potato and leek soup. As good as it is, and as famous as it's become, I've always found it lacking something. The problem was often solved with bacon, but the easy, delicious largeness took away from the earthy intricacy of the chilled soup, which pairs two delicate and creamy tastes against one another with little more than water and a dash of cream joining them.

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What, then, would the secret ingredient be that could serve as a backbone to the soup that didn't turn its delicate poetry into copywriting?

The American Farm Association has the best answer: corn.

This sweet summer corn vichyssoise soup kills it. You'll be making it on Monday and eating it all week.

1. Get your soup stewing.

Heat a generous pour of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the white and light-green parts of 2 medium leeks, and cook for five minutes, or until they begin to soften.

To this, add four cups of good-quality vegetable stock, 1 cup of coarsely peeled potato, the shucked corn from six ears of corn, and the cobs. Season it with just a little salt and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid off ever so slightly. Cook until the vegetables are soft, or just over 30 minutes.

2. French it up.

Take out the corn cobs and let the soup cool. Puree everything in a blender until it's very smooth. Strain it through fine-mesh, discarding anything that gets caught.

Chill the soup until it's cold. Stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice, and season to perfection with salt and pepper.

Top each plate with a dollop of creme fraiche, chopped chives, and maybe an ever-so slight sprinkling of paprika. Serve, and watch the hot summer turn nice and cool.

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