deliciously smooth corn soup with basil oil

as the summer winds down, there is an abundance of good corn and basil in the market. witnessing  this bounty at the market the other day inspired me to make a dish incorporating these two simple ingredients-and although it still seems a bit hot for soup, a smooth puree of corn with basil oil served at room temperature seemed like a good idea (and now that we’ve tasted it, it was). the trick to making this soup is to use fresh corn right off the cob as well as good quality home made broth (either chicken or vegetable). the basil oil works perfectly with the slight sweetness of the corn and balances it out perfectly-it can also be used to enhance the flavor of other dishes, sauces, and salad dressings. the soup would likely be even more delicious with the addition of some cream, but i wanted to keep it on the lighter side this time, and used 2% organic milk. you could hardly tell the difference!

corn soup with basil oil for 4-6 in pictures:

ingredients:

  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 3 heads of corn (cut the corn off the cob)
  • 2 bay leaves (or a few sprigs of thyme)
  • 3 cups of good chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk (or 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
basil oil:
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • a touch of sea salt 

1. in a heavy pot heat the oil, then add carrots, celery, & onions with salt and pepper (to taste) and sautee on high heat for about 4-5 minutes.

2. add the potatoes, bay leaves (or thyme) and corn to the pot and sautee all together for 3-4 minutes before adding the broth and reducing the heat to medium/low. simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

3. add the milk (or cream) to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes. the soup should be ready to be blended (either using an immersion blender, which is easiest, or in a blender or food processor). once the soup is fully blended into a puree, pass it carefully through a fine mesh sieve back in to the pot. the soup is ready to be served.

4. for the basil oil, blend the basil with olive oil and a touch of salt (add a few drops of warm water if necessary) in a blender or food processor. pass the green puree through a fine mesh sieve. ladle the soup into each bowl, then add a teaspoon full of basil oil to the top of each bowl. yum.

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