Though this holiday weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and though we hear tell that our beloved Brooklyn is currently experiencing quite the unexpected heat wave, here in southern California, summer still feels a little far off, with cool nights and the remnants of May Gray melting into June Gloom.
Which speaks to the surprise we felt this past weekend when one of our usual farmers at the Hollywood Farmers Market was featuring not only fresh watermelon, but also a small stack of fresh corn.
I’m personally pretty particular about my corn and have been ever since a friend told me in high school that the deep yellow corn is what she and her family always called ‘pig corn’ in farm country, reserving the less sweet stuff for our snouted friends. Be that a fair characterization of that particular kind of corn or not, I’ve always love the paler, sweeter white corn and love to make an easy-but-delicious corn bisque when the season does get into full swing.
This isn’t a very specific recipe and involves a lot of optionals, but your base it, obviously, fresh corn. For a soup that generously served two, we used three ears, husked with silks removed. I usually then snap the ears in half by hand and then use a sharp knife, placing the ear half perpendicular to a cutting board with the flat, snapped end down and carefully cut kernels off the ear, getting as close to the husk as I can.
After that, it’s a simple matter of roasting a sliced white onion, sweet onion (the Texas Sweets are great in Cali right now), or shallots with a little salt until caramelized and semi-transparent and then adding the corn, roasting of medium heat until tender and browning slightly at the edges.
In it’s simplest form, you can then let the mixture cool and blend until puréed, adding water and/or vegetable broth until you get it to your desired consistency. You can add any spices you like, but we find that as long as you’re using good, fresh, sweet corn, letting those flavors shine through is best.
For this one, we then topped with a little mustard oil, cilantro, and some popcorn we popped and then shook with some salt + paprika in a small topped container.
Summer in a bowl.