Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Essence of Summer: Corn Soup and Tomato Salad

For me, summer means corn and tomatoes. The best dish I have ever invented is Bobby Jay's corn soup. When I was in Santa Fe this summer, I discovered powdered hot green pepper, a small quantity of which made the soup even better. If you don't have that, you can add a smidgeon of chipotles in adobo for a warm spicy kick. The recipe is set out below.

As for tomatoes, I use Jamie Oliver's simple recipe:  Cut a variety of heirloom tomatoes into slices, quarters or whatever shapes you like. Put in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. After 30 minutes, place in a bowl, add dry oregano, vinegar and oil to taste, and season with pepper. Add chunks of mozzarella (di bufalo if available) or feta and torn basil leaves and serve.

Bobby Jay's Corn Soup


• 5 ears of corn 
• 1 medium onion, diced 
• 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced (seeds and interior membranes removed 
• 1 Tbs butter 
• 3 C water 
• 2 Tbs chives, finely chopped 
• Best quality olive oil 
• Salt and pepper 
• (Optional) 1/4 tsp, or to taste, of powdered hot green peppers or puréed chipotles in adobo  


1. Put the most delicate ear aside. Take kernels off remaining 4 ears of corn. Cut the cobs into thirds. 

2. Sweat onion and jalapeño in butter with a little salt until soft. Add corn kernels and sauté another minute or so, just to warm through.

3. Add cobs and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20-30 mins.

4. Remove cobs and puree the soup with a hand or standing blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. It may need salt to cut the natural corn sweetness. Stir in the powdered hot green pepper or chipotles in adobo.

5. Separately, bring a pot of water to a boil. Take off the heat, add the last cob of corn, cover and wait 7 minutes. Remove kernels.

6. Serve soup in individual bowls. Garnish with kernels from the last ear of corn, chives and a few drops of olive oil. Can be served cold or hot. If cold, chill and garnish just before serving.

Bobby Jay

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