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?
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.
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.
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