There are two things you need to know about this post:
#2: Every month or so, 33 Wine Bar hosts their Dorm Room Dinner series. A chef serves ~80 diners a meal prepared in a kitchen that really isn’t much of a kitchen, which is part of the fun. What can these cooks do with limited resources? It’s like Chopped, except you’re the judge, your opinion doesn’t really matter, and you’re paying for your meal.
At his recent Dorm Room Dinner, Matt whipped up a corn soup that put any I’ve made to shame. We bartered soup for photos.
Yields roughly 3 quarts
15 corn cobs (slice off kernels)
4 sprigs rosemary
1 sprigs sage
15 black peppercorns
6 cloves garlic
2 onions, sliced thinly
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
Pinch of red chili flakes
In a pot, add cobs, herbs (you can wrap them all together in cheesecloth), and cover with water. Cook this together for about 2 hours. You will know it’s ready when the cobs start to become fleshy and pods that uses to host the kernels start to deteriorate. Strain your soup using a fine mesh sieve.
In a separate pot, sweat your onions in olive oil. Once translucent, add in your potatoes and corn. Let that slowly cook down together. Season your veggies at this stage. You want the water to leech out from the onions and the kernels, while also allowing the potatoes to get rid of their starchy water content. Salt is a catalyst to making this happen. If you decide to use the red chili flakes, just remember that a little bit goes a very long way, especially at this stage of the soup. The capsaicin also helps leech out moisture from your veggies.
In Matt’s case, once he gets impatient enough or paranoid that this base will burn, he adds it to the strained corn stock. A more rational approach would be the phase when your onions and corn turn to mush and your potatoes get whiter.
Cook the veggies and the stock together for about an hour, stirring occasionally. If you want, add in a quart of cream. Once your potatoes get mushy, that’s your cue to take it off the heat.
Now comes the not-so-fun part: buzzing and straining. If you have access to an immersion blender, I would highly suggest buzzing your soup. This makes the next phase easier, which is blending it in a blender. You could also just blend it all in the Vitamix in batches. Buzz it and pass it though a fine mesh sieve. Salt to taste, then chill.
Once your soup is ready to serve, add a hit of lemon juice to boost the acid, but only before serving. If it lingers too long, then your soup will start to get slightly sour.
Garnish: creme fraiche, Aleppo pepper, basil oil, fresh mint, puffed grains, and if you have access to pretty edible flowers, use them! Or you can do nothing. YOLO.