It's not Summer until you've eaten a peach over the sink, nibbled on cherries, and enjoyed a stack of fresh blueberry pancakes. One of the most highly anticipated Summer treats aside from all the luscious fruit, is fresh corn. When I see Brentwood corn, I buy it. It's sweet, tender and pairs wonderfully with all types of shellfish, blueberries, lime and avocado.
Corn is high in starch and carbohydrates but it's also a good source of Vitamins B1, B5, and C, folate, dietary fiber, phosphorus, manganese and protein. I use white and yellow corn interchangeably. White seems a bit sweeter and yellow a has a rounder flavor, if that makes sense. Corn should be cooked as soon as possible, after it has been picked. It's particularly good in fritters, pancakes, succotash and salads. If you eat it on the cob, try squeezing lemon or lime juice over it and dipping it in something spicy like smoked paprika or chile powder. Another way to enjoy it is with crumbled Mexican Cotija cheese. Slather the hot cobs with mayonnaise and dip it in the cheese. Messy, but good.
At a recent visit to the delightful SolBar restaurant at Solage in Calistoga, I got a kick out of the menu which was divided down the middle into healthy dishes and indulgent ones. The soup of the day was a chilled corn soup and it had no cream in it. I was intrigued. After a little experimenting I found you can get the maximum flavor by limiting the ingredients to a minimum. This recipe is vegan and the exact amounts of salt and lime will vary depending upon how sweet the corn is; the sweeter the corn, the better the soup!
Note: I use a conventional blender, but I have a feeling that if you use a Vita-Mix you will get even better results! If you have one, try it and let me know.
Chilled Corn Soup with Avocado
6 ears of fresh shucked corn, yellow or white
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
Remove the corn kernels from the cob, using a chef's knife. Place the corn in a saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until the corn is tender, just a couple of minutes, no longer. Strain the corn out of the water, reserving the water, and place in a blender. Puree the corn with enough water to give it a smooth texture. Strain the corn puree through a strainer and and add some of the reserved water to achieve the desired consistency. Squeeze the limes into the soup and salt to taste. Chill the soup then serve with a garnish of avocado.