Fresh summer produce makes this corn and garlic soup truly succulent.
Here is a summer soup that you must try. If heads of young green garlic are available, don't skin the cloves, simply slice the whole head and stem (if sliceable) into thin rounds.
Cool New Garlic and Corn Soup
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. water
peeled cloves of an entire large (3-inch diameter) head garlic, all lightly crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
generous pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
shredded zest of half a large lemon
2 cans (about 10 ounces each) chicken broth
5 to 6 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 9 ears)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream, or whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup each fresh basil leaves, and diced red onion
1/2 cup snipped chives (garnish)
In a 4-quart pot combine butter, water and garlic with a little salt, a generous amount of black pepper, and the cayenne. Bring to a very gentle bubble over medium-low heat. Cover and let cook 10 minutes, or until garlic is soft but not colored. Turn heat to medium-high, stir in lemon zest and broth. Boil, uncovered for one minute.
Remove from heat, cool for 10 minutes, and stir in half the corn. In a blender or processor, lightly puree to a creamy/nubby consistency. Pour back into the pot, add cream and simmer for five minutes. Stir in remaining corn and cook for one minute. Taste for seasoning, cool and chill up to three days.
Blend together sour cream, basil and onion with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate with soup. To serve, taste soup again for seasoning. If necessary, thin with a little broth or water. Have soup cool, not ice-cold. Spoon into bowls, topping each serving with sour cream and a sprinkling of snipped chives.
Serves 4; multiplies easily
Lynne Rossetto Kasper is the host of the national radio show "The Splendid Table."