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Summer Corn Soup with Crisp Prosciutto and Basil

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Serves four as a main course or eight as a starter.

Yields about eight cups.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 100

If you've been throwing a few ears of corn on the heat every time you grill, change it up by capturing that sweet corn flavor in a hearty soup instead. This silky soup is the perfect way to use up a bumper crop of fresh corn. The cobs themselves lend great corn flavor to the broth, so be sure to save them.

  • 3 very thin slices prosciutto
  • 3-4 large ears fresh corn
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups medium-diced peeled red potato (from 2 to 3 medium)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil

Position an oven rack about 4 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on a small baking sheet and broil until it begins to curl, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the prosciutto and broil until it appears dry-crisp and has curled a bit more, about 1 minute. Let cool, then finely chop or crumble by hand; set aside.

Slice the kernels off the corn cobs for a total of 3 cups corn. Reserve the cobs.

In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt.

Add 4 cups of water, the broth, potatoes, 1-1/2 cups of the corn, the cobs, and 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the cobs.

Working in batches, carefully purée the soup in a blender, transferring each batch to a large heat-proof bowl or large liquid measuring cup.

Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups corn and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with the crisped prosciutto and basil.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a quick sauté that makes excellent use of another favorite crop: Brown Butter Summer Squash Linguine.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 170; Fat (g): fat g 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 24; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 440; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 20; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I thought this soup was fabulous. I made it for a girls night out and everyone raved about it. The only thing I did different was to add some cayenne pepper to taste which just added a little extra "zing"

I loved this soup - the great taste and easy, quick preparation made this a winner for me! The crispy prosciutto and basil complement the robust corn flavor. Add a tossed green salad and it's a perfect meal for a summer evening.

Meh. In order to take this soup from blah to corny goodness, it would probably help to include a step that captures corn milk and grated corn in the stock, then og ahead with the soup.

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