When fresh corn is in season, it's hard not to want to eat it every second of every day. Each sweet, juicy kernel barely needs a thing for it to taste glorious. This summer soup lets that deliciousness shine and brings the seasonal vegetable to the center of the table. But just one little upgrade transforms it from a simple soup to one that's dinner party worthy pretty quickly. And that one little ingredient is truffle salt.
Truffle Salt = An Instant Upgrade
Sure, without any special ingredients this soup would still shine, but it's that special ingredient that suddenly makes it fancy — and you didn't even have to try. Finish each bowl with a sprinkle of truffle salt and it's instantly more complex, thanks to the salt's rich, earthy flavor. While this flavored salt can be pricey, a little really does go a long way, so consider a tiny jar an investment in all the fast and fancy meals to come out of your kitchen.
The soup itself it ridiculously simple. After cutting the corn kernels of the cobs, the cobs go into a big pot of water and simmer briefly to create a quick corn stock that makes this corn soup even cornier. Toss in the kernels and aromatics, simmer a little longer, purée, and strain — that's it. Serve this soup warm or chilled, whichever you prefer. Either way, it will be a soup that will wow without you even having to break a sweat.
Truffled Corn Soup
medium fresh ears of corn, husks removed
medium shallot, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh chives
Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and set aside. Place the cobs in a stockpot or Dutch oven and add the water. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels, a couple of big pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Remove the corn cobs from the stockpot and add the corn mixture to the broth. Bring to a boil, then cover again and simmer 25 minutes.
Purée the soup, working in batches if necessary, in a blender until completely smooth (alternatively, blend directly in the pot with an immersion blender). Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer in a clean pot or large bowl, pressing on the solids to squeeze out as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to serve cold. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of chives and truffle salt before serving.
Storage: Leftover keeps well, without the truffle salt and chives, for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Rewarm or serve cold and garnish just before serving.
- Food styling by Barrett Washburne