Fresh corn has been in the market lately. Although it costs more than at home (about 100 yen an ear), I’ve been really impressed with the quality and sweetness. One of my favorite ways of cooking them is simply shucking them and snapping them in half, then grilling them in my fish broiler. They brown a little but they cook quickly enough that they are still really sweet and crisp, and I really love the flavor they get from being grilled.
I was in the mood for a quick dinner last week, so I made this easy fresh corn and zucchini soup. I had planned to add some milk to make it creamy, but the pureed corn gave it a very creamy texture, so I decided not to add any milk after all.
Since I was in a hurry, I didn’t think to add any herbs to the soup until after it was finished, but I think that it would have been very good with some fresh sage, thyme, or garlic, too. I had a green zucchini, so that’s what I used, but it would probably have had a great sunny yellow color if I had used a yellow zucchini instead. I garnished the soup with fresh mitsuba, chives, corn kernels, zucchini, and enoki mushrooms. If you can’t find mitsuba, feel free to use Italian parsley instead.
Fresh Corn and Zucchini Soup
by Laurel S.
1 yellow onion, diced
butter and olive oil
kernels from 3 ears of fresh corn
1 zucchini (green or yellow)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon utsukuchi shoyu (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped mitsuba or Italian parsley
fresh sage or fresh thyme
Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and some olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. If using garlic, add that to the pot now. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the onion from browning.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into fine matchsticks with a Japanese style mandoline slicer. Set aside about a cup of corn kernels and zucchini matchsticks to add later. Add the rest of the corn and zucchini to the pot. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes to soften. Season with salt.
Add the chicken broth and some water if necessary. If using fresh sage or thyme, add that here. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Add some utsukuchi shoyu (it’s more flavorful than just plain salt).
Use a blender to puree the soup in batches. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, stir in most of the reserved corn and zucchini kernels. Save a few spoonfuls of corn and zucchini to garnish the soup with too.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped green herbs (chives, mitsuba, parsley), enoki mushrooms, and some zucchini and corn kernels.
Copyright 2008 LMS