july 27, 2022
Hot soups are for cold weather comfort. Chilled soups, like this Fresh Corn Vichyssoise, are for days when it’s too hot to even consider dining alfresco. So sit under your ceiling fan in your air-conditioned home and enjoy a simple make ahead soup featuring summer corn.
Classic vichyssoise (and the occasional offshoot like my cucumber version) is chilled leek and potato soup. It keeps for a few days in your fridge but cannot freeze for later. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy this soup warmed (in which case it is called Potage Bonne Femme), but for now we focus on the cool version.
Leeks offer a more subtle and earthy allium taste. Overcome your intimidation by learning the easy way to clean and cut. Most articles instruct submerging the sliced leeks in water. I am a fan of the brief run under the tap after slicing lengthwise ; in this manner leek slices are not waterlogged. I go one step further and use some of the dark green parts as well, since all will be cooked until tender.
The electric immersion blender makes this creamy-chunky soup a breeze. However, if you choose to puree all in your food processor, wait until the soup is chilled. Hot soup can become painfully airborne in the processor. Once you get the hang of using the stick blender, your technique in avoiding splatters will improve.
Stay cool and support your local roadside stands for the best local corn.
Fresh Corn Vichyssoise
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes about 6 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
one large leek, cleaned and trimmed of dark tough leaves*, sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of finely ground white pepper
kernels from 4-5 large ears of fresh corn (about 4 cups)
one medium red potato, peeled and diced, about 6-7 ounces
3 cups best quality vegetable stock
½ cup heavy cream
optional garnishes : snipped chives, fresh corn kernels, sour cream or greek yogurt
*I use as much of the green as possible – all will get tender with cooking
- Add butter and leek with salt and pepper to heavy two quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring as butter melts.
- When mixture begins to sizzle, decrease heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally and avoiding browning, until leek is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add corn, potato and stock, bring to boil, then simmer with loose cover about 30 minutes to develop flavor.
- Using hand held immersion blender, puree carefully and add cream.
- If using food processor, puree cooled soup to avoid hot splatters.
- Adjust seasoning and add more stock or water to thin if desired.
- Note that when chilled, more salt and pepper may be needed, as well as liquid, since all will thicken.
- Once cooled to room temperature, chill at least 4 hours; may be made two days ahead. Adjust seasoning and liquid before plating.
- Garnish servings if desired with chives, corn and sour cream or greek yogurt.