A simple summer soup, served hot or at room temperature, that highlights beautiful, sweet summer corn!
- 6 ounces pancetta, diced
- 8 ears fresh corn
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 medium/large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch dice
- Sprig of thyme
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Fresh thyme, for garnish
In a medium Dutch oven or large pot, slowly cook the pancetta over medium low heat until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is brown and crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve for topping.
While the pancetta is cooking, remove the leaves and silks from the corn. Reserve one ear of corn which will be used for garnish. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the remaining 5 cobs. (The easiest way to do this is to stand up the corn on its end in a deep bowl to keep the kernels from flying everywhere.) Keep the corn cobs to flavor the stock.
To the rendered fat, add the butter and melt over medium low heat. Add in the onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the stock and turn up heat to medium. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer. Add in the corn cobs. (You may want to break them in half to make them easier to manage.) Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the cobs and discard.
Add in the potatoes, the sprig of thyme and the reserved ear of corn. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ear of corn and set aside to cool. Add in the corn kernels and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the corn and potatoes are tender.
Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth but still a bit on the chunky side. (Alternatively, puree in a blender but be sure to leave the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape from the hot soup. Cover the blender with a dishtowel to be sure the hot liquid does not splatter.) Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Taste one more time and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Cut the cooked kernels off the reserved whole cob. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the crispy pancetta, whole kernels, thyme and basil. Serve!