Cold Avocado Corn Soup with Cilantro Oil

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Philadelphia has been in the midst of a major heat wave so I had been planning on making chilled soup. The Jersey corn on the cob at the Farmer’s Market looked so good that I bought enough to have two nights in a row. One night we cooked it on the grill, in its husks Bobby Flay style–which was seriously the best corn on the cob I’ve ever had. Remove most of the husks but leave just enough to protect the corn from getting burnt. Soak it for a while in a pot of water and then put directly on the grill. The result is the most delicious corn ever. Try this immediately!

But the soup–this was equally as impressive as the corn on the cob. When I saw the recipe called for a serrano chile, my first instinct was to remove the seeds, even though the directions said otherwise. Please for the love of anything listen to whoever wrote this recipe because he/she KNOWS what he/she is talking about.

Actually, don’t change a freaking thing! It’s perfect the way it is. The chile, seeds and all, is the perfect punch of heat and while I love spicy food, I have a low, low, low tolerance…much like me and alcohol. Make the crema–it sounded to stupid to me, too. WTF who whisks sour cream and water together!? Don’t ask questions just do it. The cilantro oil is essential. Just do it. Drizzle both oil and crema on top and then say “WOW!” The flavors are all there: sweet from the corn, spicy from the chile, salty from….the salt…. it’s just mind-blowingly good and for a hot summer day, what more do you really want than a cold dish using all in-season ingredients? If it’s not this, then stop reading this blog because I can’t help you.

Recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh or frozen ear of corn, shucked
  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped white onion
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, stemmed and coarsely chopped (including seeds)
  • 2 firm-ripe California avocados (1 to 1 1/4 lb total)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup crema or sour cream
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: 

Roast corn on rack of gas burner over high heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until kernels are charred in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, heat a dry well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and roast corn over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.) Transfer corn to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cob with a sharp knife, then cut cob into thirds.

Bring kernels, cob pieces, 4 cups water, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup onion to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, uncovered. Discard cob pieces.

Purée corn mixture along with chile and remaining 3/4 cup onion in a blender, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Return broth to cleaned blender.

Quarter, pit, and peel 1 avocado, then add to blender with 2 tablespoons lime juice and purée until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill soup at least 1 hour.

Prepare cilantro oil while soup chills:
Purée cilantro, oil, and salt in cleaned blender, scraping down sides of blender several times. Pour oil into cleaned fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and let drain 15 minutes (do not press on solids). Discard solids.

Assemble soup:
Halve and pit remaining avocado and scoop small balls from flesh with melon-ball cutter (or you can cut into small pieces like I did), then toss gently with remaining tablespoon lime juice in a bowl.

Whisk together crema and remaining 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth.

Season soup with salt and ladle into 6 shallow soup bowls. Divide avocado balls among bowls, then drizzle with crema and cilantro oil.

**You can make this up to 1 day before and store in the fridge.

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