Soup recipes go on the backburner most of the summer. Except on rare 'chilly' days when the temperature drops to, I don't know, 70F?, summer just isn't the season for belly-warming foods. But cold soup -- now that's another story! When Lisa from the St. Louis food blog Show Me Vegan made a blender soup of Corn and Cashew Chowder, it moved to the top of my weekend cooking list. Sure enough, by Saturday it was hot-hot-hot outside and cold-cold-cold soup tasted wonderful. Better yet, since the soup is raw, no cooking required!
Lisa's soup was inspired by a recipe from Food & Wine which called for six tablespoons of olive oil. Naturally, I wondered if the oil could be eliminated entirely. IT CAN'T -- in fact, without the oil, the soup is as blah as dusty corn husks. But still, I wanted to meter the oil, adding only what was needed for the soup to taste good. I added olive oil -- the good stuff -- a tablespoon at a time. Even the first tablespoon made a difference, each one increasingly more. I stopped at four, where, to my taste, the soup was completely delicious and needed no more richness.
This soup has creative potential -- though please don't think that these ideas mean the soup, as is, needs improvement.
- The grainy texture is rustic and lovely but another time I might press the liquid through a chinois to create something luscious and smooth.
- Once smooth, cooking it into a soft custard might be gorgeous, perhaps going so far as slipping in a real luxury, like crab or lobster.
- On the simpler side, I can imagine drizzling the top with honey or adding lime juice for a little brightness.
LEFTOVER REPORT A rarity, this soup was just as good straight from the blender as leftover a few days later.
RAW CORN CHOWDER
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 6 cups
About 6 ears of fresh corn, enough for 3 - 4 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup raw nuts, the recipe called for cashews, I used almonds
2 cups water
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon raw or pickled jalapeño (my addition but the inspiring recipe called for garnishing the top with jalapeño)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (important, don't skimp)
Olive oil to taste (inspiring recipe called for 6 tablespoons, I used 4)
More corn kernels
A drizzle of pesto or honey
Leaving the stems on for handles, husk the ears of corn. With one hand, hold an ear tip-down in center of a large bowl. With a knife, slice off swaths of corn kernels top to bottom. When kernels are off, use the knife’s dull edge to scrape the cob top to bottom on all sides, collecting remaining pulp and milk in the bowl. Transfer kernels to a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Process til smooth. A tablespoon at a time, add olive oil until desired mouth feel is achieved. Serve immediately but the soup also keeps for two or three days.
~ Grilled Sweet Corn with Spiced Lime Butter ~
~ Quick Microwave Sweet Corn ~
~ more sweet corn recipes ~
~ Zucchini Carpaccio ~
~ Raw Beet, Carrot & Kohlrabi Slaw ~
~ more "unusually raw" recipes ~
~ Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ Summer Borscht ~
~ more cold soup recipes ~
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