Chilled Corn Soup
The peak of corn season is the perfect time for this soup. The corn is persistently sweet with delicate, tender kernels exploding with their flavor. The chill of this soup shows off the lively flavors of the sweet corn. White corn is the sweetest. It is what I recommend to make this with.
8 ears sweet white corn, husked
8 c half-and-half (light cream)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Chopped chives for garnishing
Cut the kernels away from the corn cobs. Put the cobs in a stockpot and cover with the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until reduced by half, about 1 hour.
Put the corn kernels in a blender and puree. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth, set over a bowl and pour the corn puree into the sieve. Let drain until all of the liquid is gathered in the bowl. Gather the top of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out any remaining liquid. Discard the kernels.
Strain the reduced milk mixture into a large saucepan. Discard the cobs. Stir in the liquid from the kernels and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl, add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (The soup can be made one day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.) Ladle into bowls and serve cold. Sprinkle with the chives.