FFWD – Corn Soup

Soon to be soup.

What is the best kind of corn where you live? Here, everyone wants Chilliwack corn. It’s a town far up the Fraser Valley, about an hour and a half drive from Vancouver. Chilliwack corn is famous for its sweetness and every roadside stand claims they’re selling it, regardless of where it was actually grown. I know the corn I used for this week’s French Fridays recipe was organic, but it wasn’t labelled Chilliwack corn. It was perfect though, so it must have been, right?

Softening the vegetables.

Dorie’s corn soup is a perfect example of why we should eat seasonally, when we can. I don’t think this soup would have been half so successful if I’d used off season or canned corn. Corn is still at its peak right now and most people are serving it on the cob, boiled or grilled, to take advantage of its sweetness. This soup is worth holding back a few cobs.

Corn sliced straight off the cob (easier than I thought it would be) is sautéed with onion, garlic, celery, and carrot, while the corn cobs are used to infuse hot milk. Seasoned with herbs, the soup is puréed, then topped with a mixture of reserved corn kernels, chopped scallions, crumbled bacon and hot pepper. You can also add a spoonful of crème fraiche, if you’re feeling decadent.

Yes, those are corn cobs you see, flavouring the soup.

I went for a lighter version, substituting 1% for whole milk and forgoing the crème fraiche altogether. It still tasted quite rich. I can imagine the full version being served in very small bowls (or even shot glasses) before a meal. The flavour of the fresh corn stands out, while complemented by the other ingredients. I suspected I would like this soup, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I think I’m going to have to put a reminder on the calendar for next year to make this soup when corn is again at its best.

The finished soup, with a garnish of green onion, bacon, corn kernels and a little cayenne.

If corn isn’t a specialty where you live, what is? Are there areas that are more famous for something than others? When I was travelling in Mexico, every ice cream stand claimed its wares were from Michoacán, which is famous for ice cream. And people from Winnipeg always go to New Bothwell for cheese curds. I have a feeling that this is a widespread phenomenon.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Corn Soup

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15 thoughts on “FFWD – Corn Soup

  1. Teresa….I am hungry and drooling over your bowl of flavorful corn soup ! Great job and my first attempt at making creamy corn soup. The soup is light and flavorful… I love the bacon bits as garnishes 🙂 Balance up the sweetness of the corn with a bit of savory taste 🙂

  2. I always love your sense of the community around you.
    Out here, we are in apple country and this time of year it seems like the “apple wars” take over. (We go apple picking at “this” orchard or our apple cider came from “here”). It makes me sad that some of my favorite haunts will not be accessible this year 😦

  3. Here it is Sloughouse corn, but I didn’t make it out there last weekend to pick up some. I love this time of year when you can find corn everywhere and we eat so much of it on the cob. It was such a great change to make a soup with it and your idea of serving it in a shot glass is a great one! Your soup looks so good with those bacon bits on top!

  4. I made my soup with whole milk and it was rich even though the soup was not thick. I don’t know what the specialty produce here is, although we are surrounded by corn fields, but every ice-cream shops sells ‘Kawartha’s ice-cream’!

  5. NJ is known for the sweetest, most wonderful corn. When in season, it doesn’t matter which farm you get it from…it is all equally delicious! And don’t forget Jersey tomatoes! South Jersey is known for their blueberries! Our fresh produce is exceptional. We are the garden state, you know! Soon the apples and pumpkins will be making an appearance! Your soup looks so thick and creamy…absolutely delicious!

  6. We are Sweet White Corn grown in the Coachella Valley – it’s usually available most of the year. Summer is our challenging time for produce since our average temperatures are over 105. I figured since the soup was so healthy with all that fresh corn, we would splurge and go whole milk.

  7. Like you, I suspected I would enjoy this soup, but was surprised by how much I liked it. To me, it tasted like the essence of summer — the corn flavor was so pure. Probably didn’t hurt that the corn was picked just hours before I cooked it. Eating with the seasons really allows me to appreciate what’s special each month, at least spring through fall. Great post!

  8. AZ is definitely not known for corn or ice cream. You’d think with our heat we’d make more ice cream….but we like to ship it in from the usual chains. In fact, one reason this French food is so much fun, is that it is truly foreign to AZ, forcing me to try new recipes. I have to really hunt for some of the ingredients, the spices and herbs are not normal to our everyday cooking, there is more meat, etc. Not that it helps with this group, but we have great Mexican food, I remember living in NY and craving Mexican food but their version always tasted Italian. Your soup is beautiful and I’m sure it tasted as good as it looks. If I can find some really fresh corn, I’ll try this one again and be more true to Dorie’s recipe. Always enjoy reading your blog.

  9. I love this week’s question. There is a tiny fruit called quenepa that is grown more commonly in the Southern part of the island. Roadside vendors often write “Quenepas from Ponce” – Ponce being the largest city in the area – to drive that point.

    We really loved the soup here – the contrast between the sweet soup and the salty/spicy garnishes was fantastic.

  10. I wish I could be picky about the corn I buy, but here in Germany it is most definitely not a speciality. However, we have lots of other seasonal specialities. At this time of year it is the plums, several different types in fact, which are insanely popular. In particular the mirabelles and a small almond shaped variety (no idea what they are called in english). Also showing up on seasonal restaurants menus all over the country are chanterelle mushrooms. Oh and the fresh figs are everywhere too, I absolutely love them! Great question!

  11. In North Carolina its “Silver Queen” corn, I know it can’t all be Silver Queen (though that is a great name), but that’s what everyone wants. Your soup looks great. I’m impressed too by the folks who are cooking where either corn is not readily available (Europe, who knew?) and one of the Doristas who lives in Australia and is cooking everything out of season. Wow. I completely admire the willingness to cook along anyway.

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