Chilled Corn Soup
No-cook, chilled blender soups are so quick to make it almost feels like cheating. This one stars sweet summer corn spiced with garlic and thyme. While straining it isn’t entirely necessary, it will give you a smoother, more elegant soup. Serve this in espresso cups or shot glasses as an hors d’oeuvre, or in bowls as a first course.
3 T. canola or vegetable oil
8 ears of ripe yellow corn, shucked
1 c. Spanish onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. fresh thyme, or 1 t. dried
2 c. water
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ripe avocado
12 leaves fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels off the cobs of corn. Collect the kernels in a bowl. Before discarding the cobs, scrape them with the back of your knife and add the resulting juice to the bowl of kernels.
In a heavy-gauge sauce pan, sweat the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat, stirring often, until very soft. Season with a pinch of salt, and add corn kernels with 1 t. of salt. Once the corn is tender and sweet, stir in the thyme, then immediately add the water. Over a low flame, bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook very gently for 10 minutes. The natural starches will begin to thicken/clump.
Working in batches, stir the soup and ladle it into your blender. Do not fill the blender more than two-thirds full. Puree until the kernels are smooth and silky. Using a small ladle, press it through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
Chill, re-season as needed, adding more water if too thick. Serve very cold, garnished with diced avocado, cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This soup is actually just as tasty served heated.